Tuesday’s Temptation…

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Two for the price of one! No internet connection tomorrow…enjoy!

I had heard about a new restaurant in midtown Manhattan. I am not saying that midtown does not exude culinary fabulosity, but the restaurants are usually Michelin rated, expensive and fancy pants inhabited by east siders who are reed thin, with straight hair and fans of fillers. Chanel is the uniform of chose.

We ventured across the Park and walked over to East 56th Street between Park and Lexington. You enter a vestibule and a hostess, dressed elegantly in a black sheath, greets you at the podium which is constructed of a paper maiche sculpted hand…already impressed.

A woman in white leads you down a hallway which opens up to a large bar area, replete with 20 and 30 year-old’s downing wine, whiskey and colorful cocktails. We were again greeted by a plethora of women in white (dresses by Top Shop) with sky high heels and asked to stand by.

This provided a moment to take in the imposing room. The architecture is impressive. The walls are adorned with intricate paneling, original molding and 1930’s chandeliers…the room oozes old Hollywood glamour and sophistication. It is rumored to have been built by William Randolph Hearst for his mistress, Marion Davies, as a private party space. Apparently, the real estate had been uninhabited for 6 years, but they were able to preserve the integrity of the early 20th century bones.

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Harlow Bar

We were team tagged by the white dress posse and led into the adjoining dining room, serene and displaying similar features to the bar area. There is also an additional bar by the back of the dining room that is framed by a glass screen with etched fish. The flooring is a lush dark mahogany.

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Harlow Dining Room

Please allow me to introduce you to Harlow. As we glided into the dining area, it was a joy to witness tables that were not on top of the neighboring table. The clientele was not decked out In couture, but there was definitely a more refined dress code happening…nice not to see shorts, t-shirts and flip flops.

Let us examine the fabulous food at Harlow. Just like the color of a guys socks and shoe selection, the bread inevitably reflects the quality of the food…delectable as was the butter. Keeping with my current fascination with rose, I ordered the Red Car rose which had a perfectly rounded bouquet and really is an exquisite wine.

Ryan, our wait person, was helpful and guided us perfectly through the selections which focused on seafood. He definitely enhanced the experience.

The first course was baby braised octopus enveloped in a light batter, embellished with beans, chanterelle mushrooms and a flavorful (not garlicy) pesto sauce ($17).

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Braised octopus

I have reviewed Marea in the past and mentioned that the uni pasta is superb…I just unearthed a major challenger. The homemade strozzapreti pasta (elongated form of cavatelli) with King crabmeat (plentiful) and a tangy uni sauce is a bonafide challenger and seriously, one of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten. We ordered the full portion which was huge. ($30)

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King crab and Uni strozzapreti

Our main course was a perfectly prepared filleted Branzino ($37) with wasabi stem gremolata and crispy hearts of palm. A side of seasonal oven roasted mushrooms in a truffle vinaigrette was spectacular.

branzino
Branzino

Dessert was a party in a bowl with 3 scoops of gelato and a pu pu platter of toppings, consisting of rainbow sprinkles, fresh marinated strawberries, caramel brittle, white chocolate bits, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry on top! ($11)

dessert

We exited more slowly then we entered, too full to elegantly glide. Kudos to chef, Danny Ye, formerly of Nobu and Richie Notar who was a driving force and managing partner at Nobu for 20 years and a Studio 54 veteran. Harlow is pretty and not as pricey as you may expect. Harlow, 111 East   56th Street, NY. Open for lunch and dinner. harlownyc.com

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