24. August 2006 American, West Village + TriBeCa 0

105 Reade Street between Church and Broadway
about $55 for one, with two drinks, without tip

For a $28 lunch prix fixe, my shellfish crepe with spinach was very satisfying. It included a scallop, small pieces of lobster and crab plus shrimps sandwiched in a soft crepe swimming in crab broth. I would have been happy without the crepe because it got soggy at the end, but that El Bulli-inspired foam is always interesting to look at. The gazpacho with shrimps had a nice spicy kick to it that I liked. They ran out of the octopus and squid salad and this cold soup was the right choice for a summer starter. I had room for dessert and I thought I made a good choice with the strawberry almond shortcake with sorbet. To me, something tart is always a good ending to a good meal.

The busboy brought bread to the table three times while we waited for our food. Maybe the small flies buzzing around made him nervous because he was keen on spilling water whenever he would give us a refill. One of the flies–a really, really tiny one–dove into one of our wine glasses. To make up for it, the manager brought us an extra bottle of wine–a service totally unnecessary but very much appreciated by our entire group. Sometimes, attentive service makes up for everything else, even small insects. Sometimes.

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A roach in my meal at Blue Hill Restaurant