TREMONT- New York
51 Bank St. (nr. W. 4th St) New York, NY 10014
Date Dined: 11.9.11
Tremont is a very charming little west village nook of a restaurant that has sort of a best-friend’s-kitchen feel to it. With room for just 45 guests, most of the tables are set up for two people with the dark wood tables and floor contrasting nicely with the high clean white walls and big windows. It was the perfect fall night to experience their seasonal menu. My friend and I ordered two appetizers to share and each our own entrée.
To start, Housemade Pappardelle with Beef Cheek Ragout. The hearty pappardelle was served in a small bowl with the ragu piled on top. This is not your traditional pappardelle. The noodles were so thick that it had more of a lasagna feel and they are cooked perfectly al dente. The meaty ragu was tender and delicious but maybe a bit too fatty and very light on the tomato flavor. I almost could have stopped there…
Polenta Croutons Porcini Mushrooms, with Parmesan & Herbs came next. The steaming hot polenta croutons were served scattered on a plate with tiny sautéed baby bellas and sprinkled with green herbs and salty parmesan cheese. Each crispy cube must have been deep fried about 8 times because they were so crunchy on the outside but still so tender on the inside (and did I say piping hot?). I wasn’t really sure how to eat everything together because the mushrooms didn’t really fit on the fork with the polenta but it all tasted just fine separately.
For my entrée I ordered the Braised Lamb Shank with Cous Cous, Sweet Peppers, Harissa. The lamb was recommended to me by several others so I gravitated towards that on the selectively small menu. The shank itself was very tender but much too large for one person alone. Harissa, which is a Tunisian spicy chili sauce commonly found in North African cuisine, danced in a playful ribbon across the top of the meat but gave a little kick to every bite.
The peppers, which thankfully were large enough not to mix in with anything else, I pushed aside (politely) because I had neglected to omit them from my order. No harm done there.
Tremont is a great spot for anything from a cozy fall dinner to a light and relaxed spring brunch.