Restaurant Week is upon me, or, rather, I am upon it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am tearing it up.
Things kicked off last Friday with Robert at a place called Clink. Located inside of the ironically named Liberty Hotel -- renovated from a gorgeous building that was once what I imagine to be a rather endearing prison -- Clink is just as posh as the hotel in which it is nested. I must confess, any establishment which features champagne cocktails made strictly with Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne can put its hand down my pants. I'm not sure exactly what I mean by that, but I'm happy with how it came out and I think I've communicated my point well.
They even have a separate champagne bar with all Veuve Clicquot. I'm like, yeah, put your mouth on it.
Moving right along.
The appetizer was slowly-poached hen egg and laughing bird shrimp with toasted brioche. The egg portion was a bit awkward, given that the tiny Yankee Candle-ish vessel in which it came made it slightly difficult to access the slop once the egg's, uh, hull had been breached. But the shrimp were as delightfully unique as their name would imply (though, fortunately, unaccompanied by laughing birds), and the brioche was perfection.
For the entree, I went with the striped bass over white bean puree with black olives. I was happy with the selection; the fish was moist and supple including the skin portion which put up no fight to the fork or incisor, and the bean puree was a velvety background for the gentle punch of the black olives.
Dessert was the gamble. Bay leaf panna cotta with rosewhip jam and homemade shortbread cookies. I was hesitant to order this, as I have only known bay leaves to be temporary flavoring agents in Italian cuisine, specifically appetizers and entrees but never desserts. But my reasoning suggested that it wouldn't have become a Restaurant Week menu item if they hadn't figured it to be a more-than-presentable pleasant surprise, which is just what it turned out to be. Al three components met each other well, and the dish didn't stand a chance.
I was just two rather generous blackberry champagne cocktails deep by the finish, and awash in satisfaction. The only low mark for Clink would have to be in the category of service; our waiter was the very portrait of lethargy. I imagined a slightly higher standard of persona, given the quality of every other aspect of the establishment, but Clink gets very high remarks nonetheless, and the ever-prestigious "would do again."