Last Saturday, my boyfriend, Jacob and I met my mom for a late lunch/early dinner at one of Bobby Flayâ€™s restaurants, Bar Americain. It was a pre-birthday meal for me, so Iâ€™d gotten to pick the location. I watch too much Food Network, hence the choice! Iâ€™ve always kind of thought that Bobby Flay comes off as a bit pompous, though, so I was curious to see if his food held up. We knew it would be a pricey place, but hey, it was a birthday meal!
152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019
152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019 â€¢ Tel. 212.265.9700
Jacob and I arrived first, but my mom quickly appeared. We went on in. We were there around 4pm, an hour when they only have a limited menu between lunch and dinner. Still, there were certainly enough delicious things to tempt us.
We were seated, and admired the dÃ©cor while looking at the menu. We orderedâ€”a pretty big array of foodâ€”and sat back to wait. In the meantime, we were brought bread, and so began the food tasting.
The bread was delicious. Fresh and soft, and the little peppered cornbread pieces were fantastic! Thatâ€™s a recipe I want! They werenâ€™t dry, like cornbread so often is, and the spices mixed in were a wonderful touch. So far, so good, Bobby.
For starters, my mom had ordered the Asparagus Chopped Salad with Vermont Cheddar and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. Very tasty!
We had gotten â€œHot Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Sauceâ€ to share. I thought they would be spicy-hot, hence the blue cheese, but they werenâ€™t. They were warm, though, and had a wonderful, crisp, home-made texture. The blue cheese sauce was the mildest, smoothest blue Iâ€™ve ever tastedâ€”no sharp bite, but a very graceful sort of flavor.
Jacob and I had also gotten the Spicy Tuna Tartare with Classic Garnishes as an appetizer to share. It was also delicious! Not extremely spicy, by any means. But usually I wonâ€™t eat capers, and I ate them on this! It went really well on the sourdough bread slices that we were given, though they didnâ€™t quite give us enough of those. But the tuna tasted fine on the rolls weâ€™d gotten, or just on a fork, so we managed to get it eaten! (Though my mom refused to try anyâ€¦ she has no appreciation for raw fish!)
The appetizers sound like a lot, especially since we also ate all of the bread we were given. (We declined a â€˜refillâ€™, though!) However, the food, while rich, wasnâ€™t giving that stuffed up â€œI-might-explodeâ€ feeling, which was great, so we moved onto the main courses with gusto!
Jacob had ordered the Creole Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Roasted Peppers, Bacon, and Green Onions. It â€˜wonâ€™ for best presentationâ€¦ the shrimp looked like monoliths, leading the way to egg hill. (Or maybe thatâ€™s just my overactive imagination.) I tried some, and it was wonderful! I wasnâ€™t expecting to like the bean sauce that the shrimp were in, but it was like a really delicious, lemony hummus! Mmm, right up my alley. Very tasty.
My mother ordered the Smoked Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuit Crust. I tried some of this as well, and it was great. The crust didnâ€™t strike me as being super sweet-potato-y, but it was really tasty nonetheless. And you could taste that the chicken had been smokedâ€¦ mmm. Lots of good flavor.
I hadnâ€™t been able to resist ordering the Grilled Pizza with Double Smoked Bacon, Carmelized Onions and Toasted Garlic, and I was glad Iâ€™d ordered it. It was a light, thin-crust little pie. I am a bacon fiend, and the bacon was to die for! Mmm. So much flavor on this. I could definitely see it being a (pricy) addiction.
And after that, we couldnâ€™t pass up dessert! My mom ordered the Granny Smith Apple Tart with Maple Walnut Ice Cream. Iâ€™m not a huge apple tart fan, but both my mom and Jacob said it was great. As for that maple walnut ice creamâ€¦ delicious! Iâ€™d love a whole carton of it, please.
Jacob and I both got the Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie. It had a cookie, sort of like a lace cookie, on top. I had fun breaking it in the way Iâ€™ve seen them break similar things on Iron Chef, though my mom laughed at me for it and told me to stop playing with my food. It was rich and chocolatey and wonderful.
So ended our culinary adventure. Bobby Flayâ€™s Bar Americain certainly passed the test, and regardless of his attitude, I can say that the man knows how to create good recipes. (Though alas, he wasnâ€™t in that day.) While it was expensive (entrees were between $17 and $25ish) I would go back for a special occasion, though Iâ€™d also like to try out his other restaurants.
We were thankful for the good weather, because after this meal, we were able to go walk some of it off in Central Park. ;)