One if by Land, Two if by Sea – American (New) – West Village
January 28th, 2011 by plumpdumpling

So I forgot to charge my camera battery before we went to One if by Land, Two if by Sea for Restaurant Week, and I was reminded that what photographers always say about great pictures coming not from great cameras but from great photographic eyes is entirely untrue. I had to use this seven-megapixel Sony with the tiniest LCD, and it just didn’t compare in any way to my Canon S90. Of course my Canon doesn’t compare in any way to a real DSLR, so now I’m wondering how different my pictures would be if I went crazy and decided I’m willing to lug ten pounds of camera around with me everywhere. Anyway, there’s your explanation as to why these pictures are decidedly funky.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
portobello soup, chives

This amuse bouche smelled like it was going to be really meaty, like maybe it was flavored with bacon. Though it was plenty rich, the smell was actually better than the taste, which we found a little bland. More salt (or some actual bacon!) would’ve fixed it.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
heirloom radish salad, wild arugula, pecorino cheese, popcorn, citrus vinaigrette

This was such a nice wintry salad, with layers of flavors provided by the slightly fruity radishes and the slightly stinky cheese. The popcorn, which wasn’t listed on the menu, provided a pleasant surprise crunch and added a little whimsy.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
roasted butternut squash soup, Bonnie Blue farm goat cheese, cranberry coulis, pecans

Though not as good as the bacony Métrazur squash soup, this bowl had plenty to offer with its crunchy nuts, smooth cheese, and herbs (tarragon, my boyfriend said). The goat was maybe a smidge too strong for the delicate squash flavor, but it’s not like I’m really going to complain about too much cheese.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
red beet risotto, beet greens, fennel, crème fraiche, dill

I really considered ordering this but decided I’d be dumb to pass up steak for a dish with no protein, so it was my boyfriend who ended up with the best dish of the night. The initial flavor was just plain super-buttery risotto, with the beet taste trailing as the bite hit the back of my throat. The green tint around the edge of the plate is the hint of beet greens, and the slivers of orange on top are what tasted to us like sweet potatoes. Those and the fennel added a nice crunch.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
pretzel bread

This was an $8 addition to the $35 Restaurant Week menu and was worth every penny. The strips of bread were exceptionally soft and buttery in the middle with crunchy ends crisscrossed with melted cheese.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
grilled bavette steak, swiss chard, pearl barley, roasted cipollini onion, beef jus

The bavette (or flank) steak comes from the stomach muscles of the cow, so while it wasn’t as tender as a filet mignon, it was a great cut for the price and cooked just to suit me. The beef jus tasted like mushrooms to me and added a nice depth to the barley. Some bites of the steak were melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the whole dish was such a comfort on the blustery night.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut) mousse, caramel compressed bananas, banana bread, banana bread ice cream

I’ve had a thing for soufflés lately, so my boyfriend asked if I could substitute the restaurant’s chocolate chip soufflé for the regular Restaurant Week desserts. Our server agreed to it with a small supplement in price, so I spent the meal feeling ecstatic about dessert. When it came time, however, our server had to break the news that the kitchen hadn’t prepared any soufflés, thinking no one would be ordering them during Restaurant Week. I was disappointed for sure but really appreciated the effort and was plenty pleased with this chocolate dessert in its place.

The chocolate and hazelnut mousse was formed into a cylinder and rolled in a flaky crust that provided a nice contrasting texture. The bananas had been sous vide(-ed?) in caramel that the banana bread sopped up the remainder of, giving it moistness that would’ve been missing otherwise. I loved that the ice cream was plated on top of the bread, as there’s nothing I hate more in a dessert than melted ice cream hanging out alone on one side of the plate.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC
mascarpone cheesecake, spiced foam

My boyfriend’s dish was again the superior one with this barely-sweet mascarpone cheesecake. The super-crunchy cookie bits were much better than some plain, old graham cracker crust, and the nutty foam reminded me so much of Christmastime. This was the perfect winter dessert. I mean, other than a chocolate chip soufflé.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne-Half StarBlank Star

One if by Land, Two if by Sea NYC

With the ultra-low candlelight, the fresh roses, the live piano, and the windows that displayed the terrace out back piled feet-deep in snow, I can see why One if by Land, Two if by Sea is considered one of NYC’s most romantic restaurants. The decor was rich, the service professional but not uptight, and the food well-executed if not wildly inventive. I’ll be talking about that beet risotto for weeks and thinking about that soufflé until I can finally get a taste of it.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea
17 Barrow Street
New York, NY 10014 (map)

6 Responses  
  • Heesa Phadie writes:
    January 28th, 20115:07 pmat

    Wanna know something weird about me…beets are one of my favorite things…I know I talk about sweets and “crap” food all the time, but for whatever reason, I love beets…sure they taste like dirt, but I still love them! Anyway…that beef risotto with the beet greens got me thinking about that.

    Oh my word! That’s another thing I love…anything and everything pretzel. I probably eat the equivalent of 10 average American’s consumption of pretzels a year. But I pretty much have to have my with gobs and gobs of yellow mustard, which I doubt they had :P

    Those desserts look and sound amazing to me. I love anything and everything banana (I believe sous-vive is correct for both tenses). So sorry about the soufflé …but that mascarpone cheesecake just seems incredible.

    That place looks adorable. So question…when are you getting your own food show?

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      February 2nd, 201111:35 pmat

      God, I remember the first time we went to a French restaurant here and said I was okay with sharing a beet salad just because I wanted to impress Kamran, but I really thought they tasted just like dirt, like you said. It’s funny how much your palate can change in four years, because now I love them.

      They totally did have mustard with the pretzel! It was some fancy Dijon concoction, but still, it was a start. The bread was so buttery it didn’t need anything, though. I’ve read about other places serving pretzels in their bread baskets, but I’ve yet to encounter that.

      The place was very adorable, and I love looking at that cheesecake picture and remembering those crunchy cookie bits. What’s my food show going to be about, though? I don’t cook, and the market’s cornered on eating bugs, so there’s nothing left for me!

  • Serial writes:
    January 28th, 20118:25 pmat

    Beets and beet greens yes yes yes.

    Also, yeah. I hadn’t realized how hard your photos were working on the blog.

    Which means I thought this post was kind of sucky, in a way, but you know what i mean.


    Your Favorite Online Stalker

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      February 2nd, 201111:37 pmat

      That’s kind of a really nice thing to say in a really mean way. But no, my real camera and I appreciate it, and I hope to never be without it again. Especially when beets are involved.

  • Mrs. Bachelor Girl writes:
    February 1st, 20111:53 amat

    This is kind of shocking to me, but I just realized I may have never eaten a beet before in my life.


    I must rectify this immediately.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      February 2nd, 201111:39 pmat

      That doesn’t surprise me, as I’m under the impression that nothing grows down there in the desert. Not that anything grows up here in the tundra. Get thee to a restaurant that doesn’t have any sort of hangups about importing veggies from faraway lands!

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