04. November 2009 Italian, SoHo 0

19 Kenmare Street off Bowery
about $85 for two, with two glasses of wine, without tip
♥ ♥

Is it always like this? I had to ask the restaurant manager. He gave me a smirk; he knew exactly what I meant. No, this is the weekend. It’s usually more quiet on a weeknight. I was glad to hear that because I really liked the food at Travertine but I don’t need to eat next to guys with perfectly sculpted five o’clock shadows while a DJ spins Michael Jackson mixes on the side. When I eat, especially if I’m sitting at the bar, I would like to be able to talk to the bartender without screaming and without getting shoved to the side by drunk ladies who take photos of themselves for their Facebook pages.

The beef carpaccio was delicious. The meat was beautifully cut with marbling that formed like snowflakes under a microscope. Beets and micro-greens were sparsely distributed to complement the crumbles of Stilton. The bone marrow aioli brought the two dishes together. The duck breast was very well-seasoned and perfectly cooked. The roasted plums had a hint of lavender that penetrated the thick red wine drizzled all over it. I asked the bartender for the menu again because I couldn’t figure out where that different taste to the plums was coming from.

At Travertine, desserts were not afterthoughts. The basil gelato was to die for, served with a dark chocolate topped with crushed hazelnuts and cocoa nibs. If I had more room, the panna cotta with figs would have been the next candidate.

I’ll heed the manager’s advice next time and visit on a weeknight. I hope the food would be of the same caliber when there is no hoopla.

Related post/s:
A more casual meal awaits at Cafe El Portal
More pretty people at Cafe Select