Park Bistro, Oct. 20, 2005
Park Ave. (bet. 28th and 29th)
After class I was torn between trying out Bamiyan, an Afghan restaurant that has been calling my name for a few weeks or going back to Park Bistro, which would, inevitabaly, be an excellent meal no matter what I ordered. So as it were, I headed north.
I made it perfectly clear to Marouf, the maitre'd who knows your name, your wife's occupation, what you had the last time you came (even if it was a month or more ago) if you've been there once before or 4 times before as is my case, that I'd be eating a quick dinner at the bar.
And this I did. I opted for a glass of wine this evening and was steered to a Chateauneuf de Pape which as usual, hit the spot.
And in good form, I branched out and tried something new again. Tonight I would try the steak onglet, a glorified version of steak frites. But first, Marouf would comp me a serving of escargots which were effectively garlicky and buttery but none too much. An excellent, traditional starter served as it should be and a perk of becoming a dedicated patron.
Up next was an endive salad which was crisp and not as bitter as generally associated with this vegetable. The citrusy dressing was just fine and the dish was dotted with red peppers and pieces of orange.
Before I get to the steak, I'd like to mention both Hailey, the hostess, and Golan Shipu, my waiter for the evening. Hailey continues to be a pleasant hostess, still not shy about offering her opinions of dishes and Golan offers both accountable service and a smile bigger than I've ever seen of NYC waitrons. Truly makes the dining experience that much better.
Ok, so the steak onglet was ordered medium rare and it arrived perfectly medium rare. The frites were crispy to the point of snapping and the spinach was expertly wilted and seasoned - not too garlicky and not too bitter. It is without question the best steak frites/steak onglet that I have ever had in New York City. Better than Artisanal, better than D'Artagnan (when it was a restaurant as well), better than that pathetic rendition at the unfortunately-named Steak Frites in Union Square. If you want steak frites plus - get it here.
Lastly, this is an unsolicited advertisement for Park Avenue Catering. Chef Richard, the executive chef at Park Bistro, also operates Park Avenue Catering which specializes in special events of varying sizes. Speaking with the chef this evening, he mentioned an assortment of events he has hosted, including corporate functions and celebrations. I will be recommending their services for my friends Sue Anne and Doug's wedding, which they are starting to plan as we speak.
If you haven't visited Park Bistro yet, I don't know what to say. Your loss.