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The Harrison


Note: This is a review of The Harrison under Chef Brian Bistrong, who has since left for Braeburn. For a more recent review, click here.

Now might not be the best time for a re-review of The Harrison, given that executive chef Brian Bistrong is leaving at the end of the month, with Amanda Freitag replacing him in January.

Owner Jimmy Bradley says, “We’re going to go in a new direction. We were doing French cookery in a New American style, but with Amanda the menu is going to be lusty, soulful, rustic Mediterranean-inspired cookery.”

Be that as it may, I chose The Harrison for a holiday dinner, because I knew (from past visits) that it would be rock-solid—and it was. Freitag has a lot to live up to.

I gave the restaurant’s fascinating background the last time I reviewed it, so let’s get straight to the food:

harrison01a.jpg harrison01b.jpg

Just like last time, flavors and textures were perfectly judged. Fried Oysters ($12; above left) rested on coleslaw and bacon mustard sauce. Local Trout ($25; above right) had lovely crisped skin, overshadowing the haricots verts and the red cabbage purée.

harrison02a.jpg harrison02b.jpg

Everyone raved over the Fall Squash Risotto ($12; above left), which must be the side dish served at the gates of Heaven. One of my colleagues had the Warm Chocolate Cake ($9; above right), while the rest of us supped on after-dinner drinks.

The Harrison seems to be one of the few serious restaurants where the wine prices are still reasonable, meaning that there is are respectable bottles under $60, and very good ones not far above that amount. To boot, The Harrison offers over a dozen half-bottles, something far more restaurants should do. I settled on a 2005 St. Michael-Eppan Gewürztraminer from Alsace that all of us loved.

Service remains a problem at The Harrison. Our server disappeared for long intervals, and it was hard to get his attention. A colleague ordered Dewar’s & Soda, but she was quite certain that she wasn’t served Dewar’s. Whatever it was, the server spilled a bit of it on me while passing it over my head.

As we say goodbye to the Brian Bistrong era at The Harrison, it will be interesting to see how this great restaurant evolves.

The Harrison (355 Greenwich Street at Harrison Street, TriBeCa)

Food: **½
Service: *
Ambiance: **
Overall: **

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