November 25, 2012
Bar area on first floor
Warm Pretzel Bread
I opt for originality. That means that rather than deliver yet another discourse on how much better it is to be young, I’m going to surprise you with finding the little things in getting older that can actually make you happy. I don’t mean the obvious stuff like your daughter’s smile or finding out she picks on 5-year old boys on the playground, even though she’s not even two herself. I mean the real, raw satisfaction that you feel in going out, getting drunk, and truly not going home early… TWO nights in a row.
That’s us this Saturday night.
Much to my chagrin, however, and especially after being out last night, our dinner reservation at 9:45 this evening left me hungry for something like brasserie and truth be told on a Saturday night, bras, yessiree. Come to think of it - screw it. I don’t need brasserie when we can have brassieres, Asian Fusion and seafood at Catch.
I even discovered that I prefer my brassieres on the outside rather than the in. Who knew?
Catch is right in the heart of the Meatpacking District and needless to say, comes included with the gratuitous velvet ropes, ostentatious doorpeople and very upscale entryway indicative of trendiness. Once you get in the elevator and realize just how big this mecca of a space actually is, you know you’re going to have a great time with friends, but as usually goes along with trendy dining, don’t know if you’re going to have a great meal. Our fearsome foursome had one drink at the bar, with a large glass of vodka (for me!) and a beer for the men and two more ladylike cocktails for the gals. Aside from eating some amazing warm pretzel bread with herbed butter, ordering was a total blur as I was concentrating on my manversation, letting SheView order for the table and feeling good from my pre and in-restaurant vodka cocktails. To start, we definitely had the Spider Roll (served the usual way with a Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce); MRC Roll (Seared Tuna, Shrimp Tempura, Avocado and Ponzu Butter); Crispy Shrimp with Spicy Mayo; Baked Shrimp with Olive Oil, Garlic and Country Bread and Sake Chicken Lettuce Cups. The two sushi rolls were surprisingly good and definitely qualify for the high-end of the sushi spectrum, but not quite Morimoto-caliber (but what is?). Both Shrimp dishes were excellent, with the Crispy Shrimp the likely winner of the two in what was a very close call. The Sake Chicken was filler, totally unnecessary and overmatched by its fellow dishes. For mains, we had Branzino with Vegetable Basmati, Crispy Chicken with Roasted Roots and table-sides of Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans with Napa Cabbage. At this point I was less a judge of the food and more a judge of the crowd, and there was plenty to see, hear and coolly gaze at with the eyes of a drunken thirty-something who would easily be overmatched by these female spawn of the Internet age. Or would I? Guess we’ll leave that to the imagination, which is from exactly where I think some of these outfits have been conjured. 21 Ninth Avenue | Between 13th and Little West 12th Streets (212) 392-5978
November 25, 2012
Third Floor of Restaurant
Edward Hopper is a classic American artist who revolutionized realist art in the twentieth century. I adore so many of his pieces, including some of my personal faves - Chop Suey, Rooms by the Sea and Nighthawks. I used to visit The Whitney quite often (as often as a true downtowner can tolerate being uptown) to see the Hoppers, even trying to imitate his oils in my apartment on 8th Street as the non-painter that I am. What a waste of paint! This extraordinaire’s paintings of: diners, houses, lighthouses, New England, New York (city, cityscape), New York rooms, people (portraits), restaurants, roads, rooms, the sea (ocean, maritime, nautical) and the sun has resonated with tens of thousands of admirers. His works have filled and warmed the walls of various museums throughout the states -- and on this particular evening served as some delightful dinner conversation.
Catch, a newer EMM venture in the Meatpacking district, leaves classic American about two oceans away. Instead, traditional tranquility is replaced with bright lights, grandiose spaces (3 floors - including a club) and a pain in the ass reservation policy, not to mention impossible tables to obtain. The menu, Asian Fusion and Seafood, is as extensive as their wine and booze list, which is lengthier than most of the girls’ dresses dining in this trendazoid establishment. After being collected at the bar and escorted up to our table by a mixed crew of people (think: kids (22-25) older kids (26-30) and old machismos who probably have kids at home (50 to infinity))! At 10:00pm, we placed our orders in entirety: Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Crispy Shrimp (yum but total bootleg copy of original NoBu), Baked Shrimp (awesome and garlic-y) and two sushi rolls - Spider and something tempura. 3 drinks in... late seating...Friday night bender...who remembers the trivialities of some roll. Do you HeView? Our Brussels Sprouts, Branzino and Fried Chicken Breasts (not bras) over root veggies, potatoes and thyme jus came out before the strike of 12 - which was lovely because getting a carriage in this parta town is harder then turning Cinderella’s pumps into authentic Louboutins. The boys and I agreed that for this party-oriented, promoter-heavy, overpacked and over served type of place, the food was quite good considering this is a place where people are truly coming to meet, greet and possibly get dirty. Catch and Hopper really have nothing in common; maybe just the Sea and the See. You might croak waiting on OpenTable the night before, for the month-ahead - and with drinks, all in, Catch might get pricey, but it’s surely less than a real Hopper; and most certainly worth the time and effort to hang with good friends. 21 Ninth Avenue | Between 13th and Little West 12th Streets (212) 392-5978