Remi, NYC

November 17, 2008

On November 15, 2008 we had dinner with Ioana and Laurent at Remi, a well-regarded “Venetian” restaurant on West 53rd Street.rma1 We arrived on this rainy Saturday night just after the pre-theater crowd had gone off to its shows; there were few customers and the restaurant never did fill up completely.

 We ordered glasses of prosecco and a bottle of a house recommended wine, 2004 Il Poggione – Rosso di Montalcino. It was appropriate for the meal.

Ioana’s first course was
Polenta Con Funghi Trifolati

Soft Polenta with Mixed Mushrooms

Linda started with a special of the evening
Casoncelli Bergamaschi al burro fuso, salvia e pancetta
Homemade half moon shaped ravioli filled with pear, sausage, beef and Parmesan cheese in a butter and sage sauce topped with crispy pancetta.

Laurent and I had
Polipetti Del Mediterraneo alla Griglia con Radicchio Stufato
Grilled Octopus with Tomatoes, Onions, Diced Celery, Beans and Radicchio

Ioana, continuing with mushrooms, went on to
Pappardelle Con Funghi Selvatici

Wide Ribbon Pasta with Mixed Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and White Truffle Oil

Linda’s second course was

Braised Veal Shank with Saffron Risotto

Laurent had
Spaghetti alle Vongole Veraci

Spaghetti with Clams, Roasted Garlic and White Wine

My main course was
Fegato alla Veneziana

Venetian Style Calf Liver Sauteed with Onions, Served on Polenta

The portions had been generous and we did not order dessert, but we lingered and enjoyed our conversation about eating around the world. 

We had not been to Remi for several years and were not sure what to expect. Zagats says it is “Terrific both visually and gastronomically”, this Midtown Venetian is still a “special treat.”  But I was disappointed. Remi does not try very hard, probably because it has plenty of business lunches and pre-theater dinners. My octopus was not really charred in its grilling and didn’t have much character. Similarly my calf’s liver and onions were not crisp and caramelized, as they would have been in Venice. Linda said her dishes were okay. There was no extra effort, no antipasto plate, no biscotti; the service was okay like everything else. Okay.

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