Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Landmarc - Tribeca, NYC

Sorry Marc, but you've been Chopped. My wife and I are big fans of the food network, in particular, the show Chopped.  We always appreciated judge Marc Murphy's comments, he seems like a really nice guy, and they always refer to him as "acclaimed chef" Marc Murphy, so naturally we were curious and excited to try his first restaurant, Landmarc in Tribeca. I decided to surprise Christine and book a table for Valentines day.

The restaurant is more of a casual, neighborhood restaurant, with upscale prices. I find this to be a perplexing combination, as I expect the service and food quality to be in line with the pricing.    Since the restaurant is higher end casual, they lacked certain details I would have expected.  For example, the menu is a folded up piece of paper. This would be interesting if it changed daily or weekly, but that's not the case. I was also surprised that on Valentines day, there was not a simple flower on the table. Other minor snafus included serving a very slightly chilled bottle of Peligrino, and bringing bread to the table that was literally cold, not even room temperature!

Lets move on from these trivial details and focus on the food.  Christine ordered an Octopus salad to start. The presentation was rustic but nice, and the flavors great. What was astonishing was that the salad was served over a large bowl of potatoes.  Don't get me wrong, they were delicious, but we could not help thinking that  if this dish was presented to the judges on Chopped, the cook would get absolutely blasted for serving a large bowl of potatoes as part of a appetizer salad.  The dish clearly lacked balance, and if she were to have eaten such a mound of carbs, there seemingly would have been no room for the main course.  After "judging" the appetizer round, we got the idea to critique the rest of the meal as if we were judges on the show chopped.  I commented that they still have two rounds to make up for the unbalanced, yet delicious appetizer.    Given the taste, we decided to put the chef through to the next round! 

Now onto round two. I ordered the grass fed ribeye. Given its price of $52, I had high expectations.  Having eaten ribeyes at high end steakhouses twice this week, my palate was expecting a tender, juicy, flavorful piece of meat.  I was SHOCKED when they delivered a plate of food that was practically falling off the plate.  The steaks all come with fries, and the steak was placed at a slight angle on top of the fries.  To the left was a massive mound of lettuce.  Ok....I'm not sure where to start.   Practically, there was no room to cut the steak.  Traditionally, steaks are served on their own plate, with the sides on separate plates or bowls. I had to lift up the steak and remove the fries from underneath, in order to actually cut it.  All of the fries that were under the steak were of course soggy, as they absorbed the juice from the steak.  The salad was a real shocker. I know it's a bistro style restaurant but they have an abundance of salads on the menu as starters, why they piled lettuce on the plate is besides me. If they want to include a salad, they should serve it as an appetizer before the main course. Similarly, the lettuce was covered in the steak's juice, not a great combination.  So now that I've reconfigured the plate, time to dig in.  To my surprise, this was one of the toughest pieces of meat I've encountered.  It was genuinely difficult to cut the steak, and after some hard work, the steak was too tough and chewy to enjoy.    Since I was hungry, I labored my way through half the steak, but enjoyed almost none of it, but some of the fries that were not soggy.    Christine ordered the scallops, which were nicely presented and delicious. 

At the end of round two, I would definitely would have chopped this chef, as the mistakes were just too big.  Unfortunately for us, there was only one chef to judge, so we had to push on to the desert round.  We decided to order the warm chocolate cake from the special valentines day menu. It came quickly, looked nice, but was tiny.   We dug in, and both went "ehh".  Christine summed it up by saying, "this tastes like a microwaved cake."  We both burst out laughing and agreed that sadly, Landmarc needed to be chopped off our list.

Xteve rating : 2.5 ***** 
 Website :  Landmarc

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