Friday, May 05, 2006

Le Bateau Ivre - East 51st St. (East Side

Landmarc, located at 179 West Broadway in Tribeca has one of the more progressive wine lists in the city and in my opinion, has some of the best grilled meats around.

First the wine. One of Landmarc’s virtues is what they call their “wine program” which is really just a fancy way of saying that the vast majority of their wines are priced at retail or just slightly above. In addition, they do not serve wine by the glass in order to avoid serving anyone a wine that’s sat on the shelf for too long. To make up for this, they have an extensive list of ½ bottles. Personally, I wish all restaurants followed this philosophy.

Second is the food where I believe they really excel at grilled meats and especially lamb and steak. However, their selections of salads and seafood are also strong.

The d├ęcor is heavy on the exposed brink with modern touches to the bar area and seating. The back of the restaurant has an open grill where you can watch the hanger steak sizzling away. The biggest complaint is the bar area is on the small side which can be somewhat of an issue as the wait can typically be an hour plus on busy nights. They do not take reservations.

The wait staff is young and are fine when it comes to helping with food. However, don’t expect high quality assistance with the wine unless you talk specifically with the sommelier/beverage director.

I’ve been to the restaurant twice and have had positive experiences both times. This last trip was highlighted by a perfectly cooked hanger steak ($27) preceded by an excellent shrimp salad ($16) that was just large enough to share with my wife. The highlight though wa the $75 bottle of 2000 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino which was a perfect pairing with our meats and at $75 was priced at retail. This wine would have been at least $100 or more elsewhere and I would have passed on it at that price. Here, you can get it and feel like it’s a splurge.

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