For my 24th birthday, two of my best friends blindfolded me (metaphorically speaking) and whisked me off to a surprise destination for dinner. When they told me it was a restaurant I had never been to but had been wanting to try, my ears perked up and I immediately, but unsuccessfully, began racking my brain. Had it been anyone else, I would have thought “no way”, I’ve been everywhere. But these two little tricksters know my every move and could actually pull off a surprise like this.
Enter: Meat Market. A gorgeous, complete anomaly hidden along Lincoln Road. For a moment, I forgot we had just escaped the kung-fu grip of the crazy, singing homeless man on the street trying to put his arm around Stef. We had been transported into a luxe, New York restaurant-meets-nightclub, similar to Butter or Stanton Social. Then again, NY does have its fair share of crazy, singing street people.
For starters, they brought is a three-part tray with wasabi peas, giant toasted corn kernels & nuts dusted with ancho chili powder cumin, and paprika. They also brought around a plate of onion bread, raisin bread, challah, and foccaccia. The corn was addicting: crunchy, salty, spicy, and warm. We asked for another bowl as soon as we could spot a waiter. I ordered a piso sour (pisco, lemon juice, egg whites, simple syrup, and bitters) and Stef had a spiced apple bourbon martini. The cinammon aroma from the martini was intoxicating. Stef loves all things winter in New York and this drink instantly gave all of us that warm, fuzzy feeling of sipping hot apple cider. We just pretended the martini glass was a frothy mug.
Stef ordered the 6 Ounce Prime Filet (half portion) with a Cabernet Reduction and a lobster tail. Oh you fancy, huh? Amanda had the 12 Ounce Prime Filet and I got the Chilean Seabass with soy bean mash, wild mushrooms, sweet corn tomato concasse, truffle nage. We split three sides: truffled cream corn, yukon gold and apple gratin with goat cheese, and a gratinee of mac and cheese. The corn was our favorite of the three: delicious, creamy, earthy, and sweet. The potato and apple gratin could have used a little more apple, but, as the waiter explained, the cooking process breaks down the granny smith apples so the flavor is muted. While an astute observation by our cocky waiter, maybe they should lessen the cooking time or use apples that can withstand a little heat. Either way, it was gooey and cheesy and yummy. I would definately order it again. The mac and cheese was crispy on the top and boring on the bottom. Seemed a little too reminiscent of the the infamous blue-box. I mean, mac and cheese is mac and cheese and I will happily eat it any day, in any form, on a car, or in a jar, Sam I Am. But, for $10 a bowl, throw me a truffle or something. We all agreed we could have diversified the order a little bit, perhaps a green side dish or something not so creamy. Maybe next time I’ll try the bacon and balsamic glazed brussel sprouts. And there will be a next time.
Overall it was an amazing dinner with even better company. I am lucky to have friends who know me well enough to pick such a fabulous restaurant and share my love for cheesy, gluttenous eating.