22. January 2006 New York Restaurant Reviews 0

70 West 71st Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West
about $100 for two, with two drinks, without tip

After a half bottle of Moillard, we just couldn’t shake off the idea of lamb for dinner. Fortunately, Pasha was around the corner of the wine bar we were in. Even with the coat-check girl’s attitude, (If they find you a table, it will be uncomfortable because you don’t have a reservation.) we enjoyed their grape leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts and currants. I’m going to have to copy this appetizer, also known as yaprak sarmai. We also shared the artichoke braised in lemon while we devoured their delicious bread in virgin olive oil. For a main course, I don’t think I’ve ever had a better hunkar begendi, baby lamb with puréed grilled eggplant. The smokiness of the eggplant was a great compliment to the tomatoes that were braised with the lamb. The meat was tender but not overdone.

Minus the coat-check girl–there’s a reason why she’s stuck with the coats–the service was notable. Perhaps it was quick because the maître d’ told us he would need our table after an hour even before we were seated but it didn’t feel like the waiters rushed us. They let us enjoy our meal and we actually did.