Monday, May 10, 2010

Tweaks, beets, and burgers at 44 & X

On a quiet Sunday night, the bro and I braved the hurricane-force winds for a local dinner at 44&X. It wasn't too crowded, so we got a table right away, abutting the windows looking out onto the scenic gas station across the street.

Our effusive waiter treated us to a recitation of the specials that was a pretty incredible performance, full of gestures and vigor and enthusiasm. It convinced the bro to order one of said specials, which, as we all know, can pretty much only lead to regret.

And thus the Bisque of Regret arrived. It was pea soup bisque, a huge vat of it, starkly green and swirled with different colors and blobs of stuff. The bro was starving and tucked right in, soon reaching for the salt shaker to add flavor, since it was flavorless. About halfway through the bowl, he began lamenting his lack of ordering skill. "Why do I suck at ordering?" he asked. It was a rhetorical question.

Green, the color of regret

Nonetheless, we were redeemed by the entrees. The bro went for the traditional burger, on an English muffin bun and accompanied by a big ol' mound of fries. The fries were hot and crisp and plentiful; the burger was covered in well-melted cheddar. Definitely a good burger.

There's an English muffin in there somewhere

I chose the terrine of roasted beets and goat cheese, wild watercress, blood oranges, candied walnuts, and blood orange vinaigrette. This was a curious concoction, not actually a terrine at all but more of a stack of crinkle-cut multicolor sliced beets. There was a dollop of whipped goat cheese that was so mild, it lacked the requisite saltiness or sharpness to bring the rest of the flavors into profile. There were also some incredibly sweet stewed figs, which are great by themselves but where a weird addition to the already-sweet beets. Overall, everything on the plate was good, but the ingredients didn't really come together cohesively.

Ceci n'est pas un terrine

And that was it-- quite enough for a Sunday night, if you ask me. 44 & X is a good neighborhood restaurant, a bit expensive for what it is, but definitely worth its three Offset Spatulas. Not a bad option if you're looking for some solid American food.

44 & X
622 Tenth Avenue, at 44th Street

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