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NYC Restaurant Review: One if By Land, Two if By Sea

July 14, 2009

Yesterday was my seven month anniversary with Erik, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, we dined at the elegant restaurant One if By Land, Two if Sea in lovely Greenwich Village.

OK, honestly, it’s NYC Restaurant Week from now until the end of the month (yeah, I don’t know why they call it Restaurant “Week” either), so we decided to take to use our “anniversary” as an excuse to have dinner at a restaurant we NEVER would go to ordinarily. Why would we never go there? Because the prix fixe dinners there are $78! Who has that kind of cash? Not I (or Erik).

Restaurant Week dinners, however, are a measely $35 for a prix fixe dinner (don’t scoff – that’s half the price, and what a normal Manhattan dinner costs anyway). When we arrived, we were escorted upstairs to the quieter (and slightly warmer) dining room. As we sat down, the hostess little the candelabra on the table. Another host came over and brought me a bouque to flowers from Erik (cue the “Awwwwws”). Our waiter brought over the menu and wine list, asking if we wanted anything from the bar. We knew this meal was going to be expensive as is, so we requested just tap water to start.

Erik and I have amazingly similar tastes in food, so it took all of a minute to decide what to order (not to mention we both have a habit of checking out menus online before we arrive, making it that much easier). The Restaurant Week menu had 3 options for each of the 3 courses (appetizer, entree, and dessert). Tax and beverage not included. We chose the Mushroom Tart and the Tomato Gazpacho for our appetizer. But before that arrived, we were given a bowl each of this lime green substance that neither Erik or I could figure out what it was for. A quick lick of it left me practically gagging – it tasted sour like lime, but it had several other flavors in it as well. We assumed it was some sort of palate cleanser, but it was simply disgusting. Erik joked that we were being punished for ordering off the cheap menu.

The appetizers, however, were delicious, especially the mushroom tart. The gazpacho was good – it came with crab and avacado, which I love – but I don’t think I’m a huge fan of the whole “cold soup” concept, so I ended up eating more of the mushroom platter. Anyone actually a fan of gazpacho? And if so, why??

Our entrees were the Pan Seared Red Snapper and the Roasted Chicken Ballentine, which we split evenly (Erik actually made me cut the third piece in half to make it fair). I loved both, though the Roasted Chicken was more my style. What can I say? I love chicken and chicken loves me. Of course, with most fancy-schmancy restaurant comes the incredibly small portions. I think we finished our entrees in under 5 minutes. I had to consciously slow myself down and take more sips of my wine in order to not inhale the whole thing.

For dessert, we ordered the Nutella Cake and the Blueberry Composition. The Nutella Cake was fairly simple: it had some popcorn and chocolate covered popcorn with a vanilla-like cake and ice cream. The Blueberry Composition on the other hand? Woah. First, it comes in a round glass. The first layer of it is this retro lime-green jello (rosemary flavored, of course) with several layers of blueberry tapioca, yuzu curd (I don’t even know what that is, I’m reading off the menu online) and some blueberries tossed in for good measure, plus a couple other things. Erik and I couldn’t figure out what it was but we really, really liked it! As we left the restaurant, we kept saying to each other that we had no idea why we liked it, but we really did! It was one of those mysterious things where you just keep eating something even though you can’t really identify what it is about the flavor you like. Have you ever had one of those experiences? It was so strange! It was very smooth and light, and the flavor was such an interesting combination of blueberry that it totally put the Nutella Cake to shame, despite my ardent love for popcorn.

So that was our trip to One if By Land, Two if By Sea. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend taking advantage of the HALF PRICE deal they have with the Restaurant Week deal. We left feeling full, but not stuffed, unlike most chain restaurants. If you’re wondering if you’re spending a lot of money and will leave feeling unsatisfied, but those worries to rest. One if By Land, Two if By Sea comes highly recommended by the reviewers at Lemonade Life.

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