Tables for Two
by Kelly Snowden, New York Observer contributor, 02/05/2009
1. One if by Land, Two if by Sea
17 Barrow St. • 212-255-8649
Although One if by Land, Two if by Sea has the standard trappings of a romantic night out—piano music, a back garden, flickering candles, vases full of flowers—somehow it manages to avoid cliché. The service is charming, the food is thoughtfully executed, and the atmosphere can be, well, magical. Faux-candle chandeliers flicker on exposed brick, fireplaces and colonial details like grandfather clocks and oil paintings. (This is, of course, where Aaron Burr used to keep his carriages.) The winding staircase on the left leads up to the second floor, with views of the main dining room and of the verdant garden. Ingredients are culled from international cuisines, such as Japanese and Italian, although former chef Craig Hopson's plating and sensibility are largely Mediterranean—it's carpaccio, not sushi. His replacement would be wise not to deviate too much from his menu. A bright standout among the appetizers is the aforementioned hamachi carpaccio, with red peppers and clementine sections, served over a crunchy sesame cracker. Mains can range from simple and Spanish-influenced, like a chorizo-studded chicken breast, to a Moroccan walnut and leek pastilla that comes with green beans and a side of tomato couscous. The menu isn't all fusion, though, with more straight-forward presentations of duck breast and beef Wellington. For a date night, this manages to have all the bells and whistles without seeming overwrought.
Table for Two
Table 63 offers views of the garden on one side and the elegant candle-lit dining room on the other, but it's closed off from the bustle at the bar—a plus.
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