Archive | 11:00 am

Lincoln Ristorante

3 Nov

When browsing for a great place to take Mike for his birthday, I was debating between an old NYC classic or something completely new.  And by completely new, I mean opened less than 2 weeks prior.  I decided to take the risk.

I had heard about Lincoln Ristorante across the foodie blogosphere as it was being opened by Jonathan Benno, the former Per Se chef.


It is located in an absolutely beautiful location at Lincoln Center in a fully glass walled space with sloping wood ceilings.


I loved the space.


The entire kitchen is visible behind a glass wall as you walk into the dining room.


You can even take a peak around the glass wall (making it more of a decoration and less like a fish bowl).


It even looks out on the beautiful new Julliard School.


I was even impressed with the candles which were plain on the outside but revealed a very pretty tree and bird design on the inside.  I want these!


The bread that came out was 2 different variations of a flat bread that was crispy (and just so so) and some yummy, buttery breadsticks.


The menu changes regularly, so I’ll give you a glance of the menu for the night we were there.


I was sad that there wasn’t a tasting menu, but the a la carte options sounded great anyway.


And we were very torn on what to order.


But in the end, Mike decided he wanted to try the beef (which I had read explained as “if we are going to put steak on the menu, it had better be the best steak we can find.”)


We were first served with a chick pea cake with a puree that I recall being delicious, but not delicious enough to commit to memory exactly what it was.


We started with the foie gras, sweet bread, and rabbit terrine.  It was good, but honestly, this was my least favorite part of the meal. I expected it to be a bit more flavorful.  It tasted earthy, but lacking in depth.


And then the steak came… it was presented to us beautifully until it was whisked away to be carved.


And it came back perfectly plated for each of us.  It was probably the softest steak I have ever eaten.  You could probably have cut most of it with a butter knife.  And it had delicious char.  The cipollini onions were so sweet and so delicious.  A perfect pair for the meat.  The greens (which may have been spinach) were forgettable and obviously there just for color.  The marrow, however, was insanely delicious and  buttery.  Mike went so far as to describe it as “the creamiest cream you could ever cream.”  I promised him I would quote him on that and wrote it down.


We ordered a side of gnocchi and it was the best gnocchi I have ever had.  It was pillowy and buttery and cheesy and everything you could want.


The dessert menu came and and we opted to also do after-dinner drinks.


I chose the amaretto, and it was the best damn amaretto I have ever had.  Commit this brand to memory if you like Amaretto:  Luxardo.  As someone who only usually drinks DiSaronno (which is good, don’t get me wrong), this was eye opening.  I will find this again and drink it forever.


Here is where things get fuzzy.  I have no idea why I took a picture of a fork on a glass of water.  Perhaps I liked the vantage point with the glasses behind?  One can only wonder now.


The birthday boy ordered the trio of gelati: milk chocolate, caramel, and fior di latte.  They were nice enough to light a candle, write a birthday message, and not sing.  Perfect.


I chose the Monte Bianco.  The chestnut sorbetto just sounded too good to pass up.  When it came, it looked like a Tartufo.


And it had a pretty center.  The chestnut was good, but I wanted more chestnut flavor.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, however, and eagerly cleaned my plate and wished I could pick it up and lick it.


We received a final plate of mini cookies.  I was especially pleased as they served 2 of everything, so as to avoid any uncomfortable “who gets which cookie” scenarios.


Overall, Lincoln was a fantastic choice and I’m so glad we went.  The food was fantastic and the atmosphere and appearance of the restaurant was some of the best I’ve ever seen.  The service was impeccable and I was especially impressed that they asked about food allergies when I made the reservation and paid close attention to it throughout the meal.  I was impressed with how reasonable the prices were, especially from the chef who came from Per Se (the still-out-of-reach restaurant in NY that I’m dying to try but cannot rationalize spending the $ for).  I highly recommend it for special occasions.  It was definitely in the top 10, if not top 5.

Total Nom Points: 9 out of 10