NoMad, New York (April 2014)

After a wonderful 3.5-hour vegetarian tasting menu at EMP earlier in the day, there was really no need for dinner. But this was vacation, after all, and good judgment was not at the forefront of my decision calculus. I decided to keep it in the Make It Nice family, revisiting NoMad. 

On my first visit in August 2012, both the food and service were underwhelming. Fast forward nearly two years, and it seemed like a totally different restaurant: friendly and prompt service–my thanks abound to Mark and Camilla–and universally outstanding (if massively portioned) food. 

Leading up to the visit, I sought out recommendations from the Wizard of Roz and (thought I) knew exactly what I’d be ordering: chicken liver, tagliatelle, butternut squash and lemon tart.

The restaurant had other ideas, though, as one day earlier they introduced their spring menu, changing about 90 percent of the menu and leaving not one of the aforementioned items. In their stead, I pursued an equally enticing set of dishes. 

A salad of what seemed like a garden’s worth of ripe strawberries boasted layers of acidity from red onions and goat cheese and was brought into equilibrium by the addition of cucumber and basil. And then, the entree of entrees: roasted chicken for two–or one if you’re planning a weekend of hibernation–accompanied by nettles and white asparagus. It’s over-the-top, but so very delicious. My fork ping-ponged between the foie gras and brioche stuffed breasts and the casserole of fried chicken skin and egg yolk-coated dark meat. It’s as memorable an entree as you’re likely to find anywhere in the country and well-worth the $82 pricetag. Dessert proved to be an unfettered delight, as well, with renditions of strawberry cheesecake and an orange creamsicle. 

I’m thrilled to have given NoMad a second chance and now know it will become part of my rotation of New York restaurants. 

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Spring onion and fingerling potato flatbread

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Strawberry salad with goat cheese, cucumber and basil

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Whole roasted chicken presented tableside

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Chicken breast with foie gras, black truffles, brioche, nettles and white asparagus

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Dark meat, soft-poached egg, white asparagus, fried skin and chives

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Mandarin, creamsicle with vanilla and almond

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Strawberry cheesecake

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