Monday, January 3, 2011

Molly had a little lamb...

As a Christmas present to each other, Mike and I escaped to the exotic concrete jungle of Brooklyn for a weekend together. Our destination decision was driven solely by the irresistible lure of the bacon appetizer and dry aged steak for two at Peter Luger's. Well, when we called well in advance, they informed us they were completely booked for dinner and, as a result, we were now visiting Brooklyn for no apparent reason.

Not ones to just take defeat as is, we decided to try our luck with a walk-in anyway. Ever so nicely, the host laughed in our face and basically shooed us back out the door when we asked for a table. It turns out that smug little man did us an amazing favor because out the door and across the street we went to Dressler for a dinner that was incredible in the most sincere and heavy sense of the word.

Inside, it felt like The Marliave's cool older sibling, with its ornate lighting fixtures and intricate wall decor balanced by a stark red brick wall and a cream detailed ceiling. At the white marble bar perfectly poured cocktails - his a Manhattan, mine a Hendrick's martini - held us over while we waited for our oysters to come. When they did, with fresh horseradish and a cool and additive mignonette, we threw back the soft, silky British Columbian lovelies so fast that we were left with no choice but to order more. After adding onto our appetizer order, we put our dinner wishes in.

When the entrees came, I believe I started drooling. My braised lamb shank was impossibly tender, with slow-cooked levels of flavor worked deep into every bite. The meat fell off the bone at the mildest nudge from my fork and dipped into its simple and rich soubise sauce. Mike's ribeye was tender and, although slightly fatty, was met with no complaints. The prize-winner for this meal was a bit unexpected - Mike's side of creamed spinach. It tasted fresh, creamy and with a slight saltiness that made you crave the next bite even before you finish your first. 

So, it turns out that the best thing about Peter Luger's is really the little restaurant across the street and this holiday season, God really did bless the broken road.

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