Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Landmarc Making Waves At Time Warner

Don't Look Now, But The Newcomer Is Proving It Can Hang With The Big Boys

I've often complained about the food in the Time Warner Center. Bouchon Bakery aside, my main compliant hasn't been the quality of the food (god forbid).... it's been the price. I'm not screaming for an Orange Julius mind you, but when you and the wife want to go out for a great burger, bowl of pasta or side of hanger steak... well Per Se, Masa, Porterhouse and Cafe Grey don't fit the bill.

Enter Tribeca staple Landmarc, the terrific and gallant answer to this quandary.... and a space worthy of calling a Central Park destination.

What do they get right at Landmarc? Well, just about everything. The first thing they figured out... breakfast. They serve it. And well. Baguettes, chocolate chip pancakes, egg sandwiches and killer omelettes. Wash it down with a Bloody Mary and you're ready for that 9am meeting with the boss. Remember, I warned you.

They get lunch right, too... but it's dinner when Landmarc shines, when the food is right on and can match the spectacular views over a lush Central Park. Stunning.

Dinner for myself and companion of 17 years started with a perfectly shaken martini and a half bottle of Pino. No wines by the glass at Landmarc may be their lone mistake (at least carry ONE you can call the house pour and charge $12) but in their defense they carry a wide variety of half bottles and bottles in affordable fashion.

While I am a fan of several of their salads, I'm not sure that any can come close to the Sauteed Shrimp with Frisée, artichokes and capers. Tossed in a warm mustard vinaigrette, this dish could steal the show at damn near any restaurant in town.... I'm just glad it's in my neighborhood! The balance of flavor in this dish is terrific, and I'm fairly sure the guys in the kitchen know it. Home run.

Landmarc carries a well crafted pasta special daily, but I tend to stick to the base menu as the dishes have been time tested.

Steaks are a fine choice at Landmarc, if not a safe one. The ribeye, full of flavor and very tender, is a no-brainer. With a number of sauces on the side (bernaise, peppercorn, etc) you can get the flavor just right even though they survive well on their own.

The grilled pork chop is terrific, the quail well above average and the rock shrimp risotto is downright decadent. With it's bright neon-orange color, the perfectly cooked risotto is loaded with tender shrimp and lobster butter, making for a rich, rewarding meal. I didn't even mind the "heavy" rosemary the waiter warned me about.

There are specials here too, such as oysters, sweetbreads, calf's liver and steak tartare... but all of these dishes can be had at much stuffier joints, for much higher prices. Not that Landmarc doesn't nail them... I just can't get a burger and an ice cream cone at Bouley.

So by now you are getting that I like this place. Yes the location is spectacular, and yes, the food is terrific... but it's neither that make Landmarc a winner.... it's the little things.

It's the obvious attention to detail by the owners and staff. The smile and greeting at the door. The great cocktail. The never empty water glass. The honest recommendations. The superb design. The hot food. All things you have come to expect at a good NYC restaurant, but sometimes have problems finding. This is where Landmarc wins.

Add it all together... and you get solid. Solid as a rock.

10 Columbus Circle- At 60th St
New York, NY 10019

212 823-6123

André recommends: Sauteed Shrimp Salad, the burger, any steak, risotto and ice cream cones and cotton candy for desert.