Note: Sheridan Square closed in September 2008.
Sheridan Square, as we noted a couple of weeks ago, is the latest of many new restaurants featuring former three-star chefs in casual surroundings. In this case, we have Gary Robins, who was a hit at the Biltmore Room, but flamed out at the Russian Tea Room.
This trend is, I suppose, partly the product of tough economic times, as well as the judgment that most diners are turned off by stuffy dining rooms and $85 prix fixe menus. Restaurants need to be careful, though. Even in pared down surroundings, high-end entrées tend to hover around $30. At that price, diners expect first-class service and ambiance, which some of the latest restaurants fail to deliver.
It appears to us that Sheridan Square has the balance about right. I say that with the caveat that, at the table next to us, a couple complained so bitterly about service delays that the manager comped their entire meal. We didn’t experience anything like that, but the incident says a lot about growing pains at a two-week-old restaurant.
Left: Foie Gras Ravioli with spring vegetables & summer truffles; Right: Tagliarini with Mussels & Clams
There have already been multiple food board posts praising the Foie Gras Ravioli ($15) with spring vegetables and summer truffles. You can add me to the dish’s many fans. My girlfriend loved the Tagliarini ($13) with mussels and clams. The relatively low price of both appetizers somewhat offsets the entrées, which skew expensive.
Left: Anise Scented Crisped Long Island Duck Breast; Right: Rosemary Crusted Australian Rack of Lamb
Anise Scented Crisped Long Island Duck Breast ($27) was very good, though it was undercut by the gloppy plating of creamed cauliflower, braised fava beans and spring peas. The dish tasted better than it looked.
Rack of Lamb is one of two dishes appearing on the menu with “m.p.” instead of a price, and diners may be surprised to find that it costs $42. It is a larger portion than it needs to be: my girlfriend couldn’t finish five hefty ribs. However, it is an excellent dish, with the wood-burning oven imparting a nice smoky flavor. As with the dush, the puddle of sauce is not attractively plated.
There are some glitches to be worked out, but so far it seems to us that Sheridan Square is one of this year’s better additions to the West Village dining scene.
Sheridan Square (138 Seventh Ave. S. between W. 10th & Charles Sts., West Village)