The E.U.

08. April 2006 New York Restaurant Reviews 0

235 East 4th Street on Avenue B
about $100 for two, with two drinks, without tip

While the owners of The E.U. wait for their liquor license, they will do the B.Y.O.B. thing rather than delay the opening of their restaurant. On opening night, we were seated at the right time before they started turning people away at the door. The menu is a mix of small plates and sandwiches. They also have a raw bar and offer a few kinds of cheeses. It’s an incredible space with glass panels they open to let the spring air in. Minus the frat boys who brought Bud Light in cans next to us, beautiful people flocked the other tables.

We asked for our orders to be served as soon as each plate is ready. The duck egg with duck prosciutto was prepared like eggs Benedict and was more filling than I expected. The beef cheek was a favorite on our table, slowly stewed and reminded me Babbo‘s ravioli. Small portobellos were baked with goat cheese, an appetizer I can always appreciate even though I can easily make them at home for less money. Small pieces of taleggio, pecorino and manchego cheeses were served with sweet seedless grapes, a honeycomb and a small piece of fig cake.

We also ordered a dozen of oysters and some crab claws and clams but when we asked our waiter to explain what periwinkles were, he told us that they were cured meat. Skeptical, I Googled the definition using my cell phone and found out that they are snails. Of course they’re snails! They were listed under the raw bar section of the menu! To test him and see how he would correct himself, we added them to our order after the first of our plates were already served. He returned and sheepishly admitted that they are indeed snails; apologized and blamed his ignorance at opening night. (He should have known it’s okay not to know something on the menu; just don’t make up shit.)

For dessert, we ordered the lemon crepe and the chocolate tart. Panna cotta was served instead of the chocolate tart and when we alerted another waiter, he took away the plate to correct it. A manager returned with it to our table, apologized and told us it was on the house while they prepare the chocolate tart. When our own waiter returned to ask if we’re set for the night, we told him that we were waiting for our chocolate dessert because he made a mistake by serving us panna cotta. At this point, I think he was just so stressed out that he insisted panna cotta is the same as the tart. An egregious error but we took it easy on him and let it slide. Our bill charged us for the panna cotta but not for the chocolate tart and the plate of $15 charcuterie that never came.

Not such a bad experience on opening night but I hope our waiter realizes that if he thought we were difficult, then he has a long way ahead of him. I’ll give The E.U. a star for now but I expect to add another when I return and finally eat that chocolate tart.

Apparently, after we left at opening night, the cops came to stop the ruckus. A lower east side resident complained of the noise. The E.U. might not be doing B.Y.O.B. anymore so call before you go. Therefore, the one star stays.