Monday, February 18, 2013

A Food Hall & A Frenchman

The Todd English Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel, NYC.  The perfect date.

 On Saturday evening, I received the royal treatment.
I was in the company of a wonderfully handsome man with a fabulous French accent 
(a little bit of Paris in New York is always a good thing).
And I was lucky enough to be spoiled with some of the most marvelous dishes I've ever tasted in the fanciest food court of all time, at The Plaza.

I've never been to a Todd English restaurant before but it's always been high on my list.
However I now can say I am hooked on his cuisine for life.  My advice?  Run...don't walk!

Upon entering the Food Hall which has it's very own stately entrance 
at The Plaza via Central Park South,
I was stunned by the wide open space and the art deco brasserie style decor.
And I just loved the open kitchen atmosphere.
All I can say is thank goodness we had a reservation.

The serious raw bar and artisanal cheese selection immediately caught my attention.  

 As did the pasta station.  Every variety of handmade pasta was beautifully displayed.
I was in pasta heaven.  
The extraordinary pasta station.
 And then there were the endless selections of charcuterie, cheeses, raw bar and appetizers.
 With so many, how can one choose?
The selection covered everything from my favorite Boucheron goat cheese to melt-in-your mouth Prosciutto, handmade dumplings (oh yes!) and even those incredible tiered straight-from-the-raw-bar seafood  platters that remind me of my days in Paris.
I can already see I will be spending lots of time here. 

Our first course we shared was a salad from the special's menu:
watercress & endive with artisanal cheese and (very) candied walnuts.
So simple and delicious with a sweet twist.

But what came next for the second course I was unprepared for.
Prime Rib Sliders in a Fontina cheese fondu.
The prime rib was so tender and flavorful: it was by far one of the best I've  ever had.
The fontina "fondu" was an extraordinary taste.
A beautiful blend of cheeses and complimented the slider perfectly.
The first bite was heaven on a bun.  I totally pigged out on this one.
 The Frenchman has very good taste!

Prime Rib Sliders with minced red onion and fontina fondu

I knew from the start that our 3rd course must be one of those incredible signature pasta's on display.
So I ordered us the handmade Pappardelle Pomodoro.


The dish was accompanied by toasted garlic in the traditional tomato basil sauce but the surprise inside was the herb whipped ricotta hidden between ribbons of pappardelle.
We both melted over this dish.

All in all, I cannot wait to go back to this place.  Not only was it excellent food but gave a whole new meaning to falling in love at first bite.


**All photo credits go to Todd English Food Hall foodies extraordinare.

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