Eli’s Table – a birthday treat
As I have mentioned before in these pages, I like to spend my birthday week in New York and to particularly find a restaurant that has good food, a good wine list with prices that won’t break the bank.
Eli’s is a big cavernous place with well-spaced tables – so different from the cramped surroundings of Graffiti where we ate the previous night. But it’s what’s on the plate which should count for most. It’s quite famous for its wine list which is made up entirely of European wines – none of this New World rubbish!
Being a birthday, it called for a bit of fizz to start with and I was astonished to find Ridgeview Grosvenor 2010 at a mere $45! About a quarter of the price of some of the Grande Marque Champagnes on the list. And it was good. So good in fact, that we ordered another bottle! What value!
Contemplating the menu whilst sipping this fizz was a delight and we soon made our choices from the relatively short menu. (No over stretching the kitchen here!)
My Tuna Tartare with Avocado and Potato Gaufrette was delightfully refreshing whilst Sonia’s Housemade Charcuterie, Pickles and Whole Grain Mustard was surprising enormous for a starter, it was good and she made a good job of getting through it.
Tuna Tartare Avocado and Potato Gaufrette
Roasted Figs with Baby Arugula, Rooftop Greens with a Banyuls Vinaigrette were the other starters chosen by our group and all met with approval.
Main course choices were limited, Mary and I had the Berkshire Pork Chop (not flown in from Reading, I suppose) Escarolle and Roasted Frog Hollow Peach, cooked á point and sliced with the bone of the chop left on the plate to gnaw if you want which I suppose is better than biting your fingernails. Arlette’s Housemade Fettuccini, Rock Shrimp, Garlic Scape, Lemon and Chives was really succulent, whilst Rachelle’s Wild Sockeye Salmon, Quinoa and Spring Bean Salad was satisfying pleasing. The only disappointment was Sonia’s Maine Lobster Roll which suffered from a distinct lack of lobster. Something of a contrast to her starter!
Pork Chop, Escarolle & roasted Frog Hollow Peach
Fettuccine, Rock Shrimp, Garlic Scape, Lemon and Chives
But we were really here for the wine – and we weren’t disappointed with that. Following my usual practice of looking up the wine list on the restaurant’s website and noting a selection of wine to suit my pocket and also looking for value, here I came across a remarkable wine from the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, Passopisciaro. Rated 4 stars plus in Wine behind the label, you will see in “How to Choose Wine In a Restaurant” on the Home page of this website, that to get value you shouldn’t pay more than £75 for a 4 star wine – and even at today’s miserable exchange rate – this is about $100. So to find this on the list for just $80 and considering that it’s 4 stars plus, it was indeed excellent value for money. And the wine was absolutely delicious, confirming its rating. Food wasn’t quite the same value for money, but wasn’t outrageously priced either. Reckon on around $120 a head including a New York style tip.
And so for the dessert – Frog Hollow Farm’s White Peach Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream – happy birthday to me!
Eli’s Table, Restaurant and Wine Bar
1413 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10028
Tel: 212 – 717 – 9798
Value for money 12