Lincoln, NYC 2
May 2, 2011
We had dined at Lincoln a few weeks after its opening last fall. We enjoyed the Italian cuisine of Jonathan Benno, former chef de cuisine at Per Se, and so were looking forward to our return for dinner before Wozzeck at the next door Metropolitan Opera House on April 6, 2011. This time we were seated in the more open east dining room.
(You can see the side of the Metropolitan Opera House on the right; Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, on the left; the New York State Theater, home of the New York Ballet and the City Opera in the center, and, further back, Fordham Law School in the distance.)
We ordered glasses of PROSECCO DI VALDOBBIADENE Bisol ‘Crede’ BRUT 2009 (Veneto). Nice and refreshing.
Grissini and crisp sesame flatbreads were put on the table.
The amuse-gueule was a little deep fried arancino, crisp, hot and good. An interesting looking five course chef’s tasting menu was proposed for $85, but we did not have time for it so we ordered à la carte and looked at the interesting Italian wine list. One page started:
“There is a new and energizing fascination with an ancient grape from Sicily called Nerello Mascalese. Grown at high elevations on Mount Etna in Sicily, the aromatic range of the varietal is so well perfumed with red flowers and red berries, it has immediate charm for lovers of Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. Like those two varietals, Nerello showcases a wide range of flavors dependent on terroir, giving the resulting wine great transparency too. The resulting styles range from ethereal and light, to earthy and tannic, or what the Sicilians call Selvatico which translates to ‘wild and untamed.”
That was hard to resist, so after consulting with the helpful young sommelier, we ordered a bottle of ETNA ROSSO Terre Nere ‘Guardiola’ 2007. The wine list said of it: “We chose this bottling of the single vineyard Terre Neres’ for its fully developed aromatics and rose petal scent.” The wine opened up fairly quickly in the decanter; it was interesting, delicious and went very well with our main courses.
A basket with three fresh breads was passed. I chose the foccacia with tomato, which was delicious. Pots of olive oil and chickpea purée were provided for dipping.
Linda’s first course was
GRIGLIATA DI GAMBERONI E CALAMARI
BLUE PRAWNS, CALAMARI, FREGULA, ORANGE, PARSLEY
The prawns were nicely grilled and flavorful. The fregula, or little round pasta balls, were overspiced with bits of pickled jalapeño.
My starter was
TERRINA DI POLPO E PANCIA DI MAIALE
OCTOPUS, PORK BELLY, PICKLED VEGETABLES, CARAMELIZED LEMON VINAIGRETTE
This was a good combination, well executed. The little salad nicely offset the richness of the terrine.
Linda’s main course was
ORECCHIETTE INTEGRALI AL RAGÚ D’ANATRA
DUCK, PORK, SAVOY CABBAGE, PARSNIP
The sauce for the pasta ears was rich and nicely done.
My main was
LAMB LEG, BRAISED SHANK, CASTELLUCCIO LENTILS, SUGO D’ AGNELLO
The two thick slices of lamb were flavorful, enhanced by the lamb stock in which the lentils had been cooked. The portion was quite large; while the dish was enjoyable, it eventually got boring as it lacked contrasts.
We had spent so much time enjoying our main courses and the interesting wine that we didn’t have time for dessert. There was a little tray of mignardises: sesame biscotti, nougats and milk chocolate cups.
The welcome and service were excellent throughout the evening. This dining room was quiet with its high ceiling and pre-performance clientèle. We enjoyed our meal a lot more than the grim atonal opera with shouting singers which followed.
To see our meal at Lincoln last November click here.