General Assembly

24 Mar

We had spent the beautiful, 60 degree day walking all around NYC.  We walked down the High Line, across to Union Square, wandered our way up to a meeting with our mortgage broker, and then popped into Eater’s Heat Map to see if we could find a fun place to have dinner near Midtown East.  No less than 30 minutes, we were walking in to the very new General Assembly, which opened earlier this month.

It was ringing a bell in my brain, but I couldn’t place it until I saw the Quality Meats card on the host desk and realized that both restaurants are from the great restaurant group, Fourth Wall (also of Smith & Wollensky fame).

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The space has a great aesthetic, with a lot of light woods, white walls, and very well placed mirrors.

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A cute private room downstairs.

 

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And their logo stamped on their butcher paper table covers and all tableware.  (I like a good logo branding job… it’s the advertising part of my brain… what can I say).

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Right after we ordered, beautiful warm parker house rolls were served with a basil-like crunch and salt on top and nicely warm butter.  A great start to the meal.

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Our drinks arrived moments later, including a great cocktail called Hop Scotch On the Rocks — Blended Scotch Whisky & Homemade Citra Hop Infused Honey. (Loved it)

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And Mike got a Geary’s beer, from Maine, one of our favorite stops in Portland.

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We started with an appetizer of gnocchi & Viking Village Scallops with a bacon beurre blanc sauce.  Holy smokes! This was insanely good.  Crazy good. Certifiably ridiculous.  The scallops were sweet and perfectly cooked, cut to the same size as the pillowy gnocchi with bacony bits and (I think) fried potato skins for crunch and chives on top.  The sauce was just so damn good.  Buttery and a bit tart and bacony and just… damn…

It was also a good portion for an app (could make for an entree, really, if you wanted something a bit on the smaller side).

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For his entree, Mike got the steak frites, which came with either Colorado lamb or Creekstone beef.  Mike chose the lamb and it was a very good choice.  The fries were nicely crisped and flavorful, and the steak had a beautiful char and hotel butter on top, with a lamby goodness that was hard to beat.

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I went with the Hudson Valley duck confit with gingered kumquats & apricots.

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It had a very nice crispness to the skin and I really loved the gingered, candied apricots and kumquats with it. Mike wasn’t as big a fan, but I’m the duck confit person, and I thought it was great.

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For sides, the Quality Meats superstar was on the menu: Corn Creme Brulee.  It was as good as I remembered it from our last meal.  I really love this side!

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We also tried the crispy artichokes with malt vinegar aioli. I really enjoyed the fry on this, since it was light but added a great crispy. And the crisped basil on top with the aioli made for nice foils to the fry.

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Unfortunately, we were really full by the end, so we were not able to take part in the desserts, which included a tray of custom, fun sounding eclairs.

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We strolled home and it was a perfect moment of dusk which made the city look even more beautiful than it usually does.

 

 

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A great way to end a great day. (I freakin’ love this city)

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Overall, our meal was really fantastic.  From start to finish, there were items that were really good and then a few that were absolutely great.  That scallops appetizer alone is worth the trip to midtown.  It’s pretty close to my office, and I’m thrilled to have a great place to go for nice lunches.  The service was also attentive and speedy, without feeling rushed.  Totally worth checking out.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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One Response to “General Assembly”

  1. lifeonmacro March 31, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    i was just looking at this place a couple of days ago! thanks for the great review and photos.

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