Feb
03

Michael’s, New York

I went to Michael’s this week for a business lunch. Getting there was a nightmare. It was raining heavily and we couldn’t get a cab so we ended up walking a couple of blocks in the rain to the subway. My umbrella had already snapped at the shaft earlier that morning. I hate the rain, it’s one of the reasons I left my home, England.

Michael’s is on 55th street and considered a power lunch place for the media crowd. I’m in the media business, working for The Wall Street Journal. There is another location in Santa Monica. The New York location has been around since 1989. The food concept is basically contemporary American / Californian cuisine.

The service at the restaurant is great, very attentive and timely. The restaurant itself is bright and open. This is a place to see and be seen.

The food which of course should be the star in any restaurant is also good. I ordered the Ravioli mushroom ricotta and parmesan with a fava bean butter sauce as an appetizer. This was creamy and beautifully flavored. For the main course I had the charred yellowtail hamachi with bok choy, mushrooms, pumpkin seed oil and mushroom beurre blanc. The fish was delicately cooked, very moist and tasted great. I love bok choy. I find it so refreshing. One of my lunch partners had the burger which is a ribeye ground burger. It looked really good and the bun looked great too. That’s what I wanted but since I had been to Wolfgang’s steakhouse earlier that week I decided to go with the fish. The burger came with an enormous mound of thinly cut french fries. Do they actually expect anyone to eat that? What a waste, I wish restaurants would stop doing that. Overloading the fries does not make it seem like you are getting good value. Potatoes are cheap! And no amount of fries will make a $33 burger seem cheap.

The mains are in the mid $30s to mid $40s while appetizers are arund $17.

The tables are well spaced and it’s easy to have a real conversation here and be heard without worrying about other tables hearing you. This seems to be a rarity in new restaurants that are trying to maximize their sales per square foot.

Overall, I liked this place, though the focus is more on the scene and less so on the food, though I did like the food.

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