Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dinner at the Braeburn

I've often fantasized at the premise of being a restaurant reviewer, perhaps I am manifesting this longshot of a dream into reality. For, if I'm not mistaken, I just got the critic's treatment at the Braeburn in the West Village.

Using a 30% off deal from Blackboard Eats, we showed up to the restaurant & after a brief deliberation we were seated at the corner booth. As two Italian girls, we couldn't have been happier. This means we see all & won't be worried about getting WHACKED all the while our bottoms rest on cushy booth fabric!

The restaurant wasn't crowded yet, but shortly after being seated the room began to fill up. Our waiter came over with an amuse bouche, compliments of the house. I am a SUCKER for an amuse bouche! I believe it sets the tone of the evening and the meal you are about to have. It was a whipped mushroom creme- warm and comforting. The flavor of the mushroom was delicate but present, and the fluffiness of the creme was just right. It wasn't over salted, either, something that I feel is hard to accomplish with soups, mousses, and cremes in general.

Now, this is where I feel the "critic" treatment comes in yet again. First, it was the prime seats, second, though we ordered a bottle, our wine glasses seemed to miraculously FILL well beyond one bottle, and third, it was this salad. Why would a salad merit "critic" treatment? Well, we didn't order it. The waiter brought it out, as a compliment to our meal. It was a simple salad of mixed greens with a lovely sesame vinaigrette with what I am guessing was pickled red onions. It was light, refreshing, and whet my appetite for the impending meal. Incidentally, the dinner rolls here were FANTASTIC. They were crusty on the out side, and moist. The taste eggy with scallions, and the melted butter just contributed to the taste.

For my main course (seen at the beginning of this blog), I ordered the Pennsylvania Chicken with Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, and Hazelnut Puree. The first bite threw me off- as it was VERY heavy on the lemon. Once I combined the items on the dish, however, a very well balanced meal met my high expectations. The chicken was tender and juicy, the skin on top was an excellent blend of seasoning but it wasn't the exclusive source of taste. The bed of sprouts and bacon the chicken rested upon was wilted but not overcooked. The bacon wasn't overpowering, it was rather delicate and had a subtle sweetness blended with the salt. The puree was similar to a hollandaise sauce with a lemony finish, but again, it wasn't overdone. It was a classic dish with all the right elements working together to create what I would consider a reliable staple dish.

Having been so pleased with the service, the seating, and the meal, we opted to split a dessert. We ordered a Braeburn Apple Cobbler with brown sugar streusel and cinnamon ice cream (my friend's hand not included). It came out in its own little adorable hot iron pot. I am glad we ordered this. The crispy buttery goodness of the streusel had me reeling. The spicy flare if the cinnamon ice cream melted into the fluffy cobbler with evenly cooked baked apples was scrumptious. A nice finishing touch to the meal.

I felt like a well treated restaurant critic who was fed a good homey meal. Or maybe the waiter just thought we were cute. Who knows. All I do know is, I will be back, and I will recommend the Braeburn to others.

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