When my parents were here over Thanksgiving, I thought the shops at Bryant Park would be a good spot to hit. They were heated (a big plus this particularly cool drizzly day) and I thought the jewelry and such was much nicer than the Union Square holiday shops.
Afterwards I found myself stumped as to where we could eat. Not a ton in the area came to mind, aside from Bryant Park Grill, a restaurant I’d actually been meaning to try for a while but seemed to recall was on the pricier side. We went and checked ut the menu, and it was not too bad, although it was on the pricier side for a lunch. Most of the main entrees run from $15-$27. We decided the scenery could not be beat (you can see Bryant Park through the large crisp windows that run the length of the restaurant) and to give it a try.
I decided to go with the Baked Salmon. I was particularly interested in trying this dish due to the preparation. It came served atop a crispy herb risotto cake and maple glazed spaghetti squash and had a Merlot butter sauce. Now I’ve had risotto. I’ve even had fried risotto balls. But never a risotto cake. It was kind of like hash browns met rice. And some herbs along the way. It was so good. I’ve begun the hunt to find a recipe to make this because I can still taste this some three weeks later. The spaghetti squash brought a delicate hint of vegetables to the dish, which was a nice touch and the Merlot sauce a bit of a zing of flavor. The only thing was I found the ratio was a bit off. So much salmon in comparison to everything else on the plate. Maybe another risotto cake would have done the trick…
The other item on the menu which caught my eye was the grilled marinated pork chops, so I was happy to see both of my parents choose this (meaning I could try a little as well). Again, there was an interesting mix of flavors in the dish which I liked. The server admitted to us this was her favorite item on the menu. It was served with a sweet potato puree, homemade applesauce, and sautéed greens. I’m not usually drawn to pork chops, but in this case, it would have served me well to go with our server. Amazing. The greens were very well prepared. Not super salty. And the highlight for me was the homemade applesauce – subtly sweet and a nice balance to the savory pork. This dish is where it’s at on this menu.
Highly recommend this as a good spot when you’re looking for something nicer for out-of-towners. And hey, it’s not even too far from that wasteland otherwise known as Times Square. Keep that idea in your back pocket.
Bryant Park Grill – 25 West 40th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues) – 212.840.6500
Reservations Recommended for Dinner; Optional for Lunch