Geoffrey Zakarian operates two upscale restaurants in Manhattan. Country has garnered tons of press this year, including a three-star review from Frank Bruni, a star from Michelin, and if I may humbly say so, four stars on this website. Its older sibling, Town, doesn’t get the buzz any more, as if the hip crowd has moved on—perhaps to Country. Town’s website announces a $71 prix fixe at dinner, but on Sunday night the menu was available à la carte.
This is a hard review to write, because the savory courses my friend ordered were a lot better than mine. Lobster bisque, a steal at $13, had great chunks of succulent lobster floating in a broth that was just about perfect. Filet mignon ($39) was almost tender enough to cut without a knife and had a beautiful exterior char. It was one of the few times I’ve been impressed with steak in a non-steakhouse restaurant.
But my choices, Tuna Tartare ($21) and Bass Papillote ($36), correct and proper, did nothing to set themselves apart, which at those prices I believe they should do. There was nothing wrong with them—they just did not wow. When I think back on the meal, it will be tastes of my friend’s lobster bisque and filet that I remember.
About the dessert there was no doubt: we ordered the chocolate soufflé for two ($20), a large gooey serving of what must be the dessert served in heaven, with an accompanying hunk of spearmint spumoni. The next day, my friend e-mailed me, “Bring me a soufflé. I need another one.” (I replied that they don’t travel well.)
Inexpensive wines aren’t abundant at a restaurant like Town. My friend was content to nurse a glass of rosé champagne ($24), while I had two contrasting wines by the glass ($13–14).
The imposing multi-level space is beautiful to look at. Service is elegant and polished.
Town (15 W. 56th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, West Midtown)