Tonight I tried out a new place in Hell’s Kitchen. 44 & X. My friends from the food review site Tabelog invited me out for dinner, to get to know one another and to pick my brain. I enjoyed the time with the very cute Cutie Patroller, and the uber cool Lord of the forks. I can’t get over that name; it’s so freaking clever. These guys do a family style sharing technique of eating. I seldom do this because generally, people don’t like my food choices, and I don’t like theirs. Today, however, we were all in synch, and it worked out.
There are several benefits in doing this. First, you get to try more food items, which is great for us food bloggers. Second, you don’t stuff yourself as you are sharing the food. It’s new to me, but it worked out. Cool.
So as is my custom, I saw a Caesar salad on the menu, so we had to try it. This was one of the better Caesar salads that I’ve had in quite some time. The lettuce was fresh. The croutons were crunchy, and the dressing wasn’t overpowering. It was a delicious salad. We also tried a Hamachi sashimi dish, for you uncultured beasts, that yellowtail. Lol. It was pretty good. I ate the fish by itself, and it wasn’t fishy. I should have tried the other elements of the dish, next time I suppose. Following this came the scallops, these two were pretty good. The sauce gave them a nice touch.
Buttermilk fried chicken, collard greens, chive waffle, black pepper and maple syrup jus
The chicken was pretty good, but I wasn’t wowed by this one. I guess I was spoiled in Harlem a few weeks ago. This certainly wasn’t Sylvia’s fried chicken. Not by a long shot. The collard greens were kind of sweet. This caught me off guard. I generally expect veggie sides to be salty. It was good though. The waffles were an interesting part of the meal. I think that the folks down south eat this stuff all the time. To me, it is a little weird. I’m used to eating rice and beans with my fried chicken. It was good though, just not normal for me. Latinos do arroz con pollo! Waffles are breakfast.
Grilled braised short ribs, basil mashed potatoes, black truffle port wine reduction
The braised ribs were not so great on their own, but significantly better when combined with the sauce provided. I tried it both ways. Needless to say that I prefer the sauce method. Haha, thanks to Cutie Patroller for calling me out on that one. “Try it with the sauce!” Yes dear. As you command. I was fully prepared to say this dish sucked, but the sauce made a major difference. As the team didn’t really eat sweets, and I had no particular craving for any desserts, we passed on that. The place is quite nice, cool decor and very amiable staff. Extremely professional and cordial. This was a good place. Most importantly, they pass the Caesar salad test, and that says a lot.
Thanks to my new friends for the nice dinner, and great company. Let’s do it again.