Mesa Grill

Cake Server had been dying to try Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, and while Fork has been on this adventure before, how could Fork possibly say no – especially during Restaurant Week. Fork had actually been to Mesa Grill with Spoon during Restaurant Week two years ago and – get ready for this – we had nearly the exact same menu. Fork can’t possibly imagine that Bobby Flay lacks the imagination to change the Restaurant Week Menu! Was everything still terrific? Yes – especially the company!

Cake Server arrived a few minutes before Fork and Mesa does not seat people until their entire party arrive.  With a table for 2, it’s sort of silly, don’t you think? If, let’s say, Cake Server didn’t show, Fork would still eat. Would they not seat Fork alone?

But let’s move forward! The bread basket is great. There were corn muffins that were half yellow and half blue, cornmeal and rosemary biscuits, and sourdough rolls of some sort. The yellow and blue muffins were mighty tasty.

Fork ordered Sophie’s Chopped Salad as a starter. This is exactly what I had last time, and I thought the same thing about it this time. Terrific. Chopped romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, cubes of cheese, beans, pieces of blue and yellow fried corn tortillas. The salad was lightly dressed, but sadly the dressing was a little bland. The salad is fairly large and the combination of ingredients make the salad really good and interesting. Every forkful a different flavor combination.

Cake Server ordered the Roasted Cauliflower and Green Chile Soup. What arrived was a thick soup, rich with the flavor of roasted cauliflower. Fork didn’t taste much form the green chiles, but the soup was quite good. There was an orange oil floating on top of the soup, it had a very slight kick to it and added a nice layer of flavor. Floating in the center of the soup was a blue corn taquito filled with goat cheese.  The soup tasted really goo, but it was really an off-putting color.

For entrees, Fork had the Pan Roasted Chicken with blackberry ancho sauce and cilantro pesto mashed potatoes. Eh. The chicken was a little dry. The sauce was nice, but really not enough of it. The ‘mashed’ potatoes were more like a warm potato salad than real mashed potatoes. They were pretty good, but really nothing to write home about. Fork is not quite sure where the cilantro pesto was, but there was not much of a hint of it. Fork is 90% sure this is what was ordered on the last trip!

Cake Server ordered the Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno. Another dish that was definitely on the last Restaurant Week menu. Fork must say, the presentation was beautiful. The pepper was stuffed with roasted eggplant and manchego cheese. The pepper had a really nice cornmeal crust, golden and crispy. Surprisingly, the pepper held it’s shape after the frying. Very nice flavors. Nice a savory, especially on a cold winter night.

Two desserts? How easy was that? Simply had to have one of each.

There was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Flan with Kahlua Whipped Cream. The Peanut Butter was so overpowering that there really wasn’t much of a chocolate taste to the dessert. This was pretty good though. It may have been the candied peanuts that were served with the flan that sold it.

The second was Pineapple Buttermilk Upside Down Cake. The best part of this was the pineapple vanilla icecream on the side. You couldn’t at first taste tell what the wonderful flavor was of the icecream, but suddenly it hit you and it was lovely. The cake itself was good. spongy and not too sweet. The pineapples were another story. They were very sweet, almost too sweet.

Bobby Flay and the Mesa Grill have a wonderful cook book. If you need another book for your collection – and who doesn’t – try the Mesa Grill Cookbook.

This was a nice meal, nothing extraordinary, nothing that stood too far out, definitely not to try again during Restaurant Week. The regular menu actually looks so much better. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the Restaurant Week menu. Isn’t part of the point in being a participating restaurant enticing diners to come back and try the full menu? I don’t know that this menu enticed me to do anything.

Mesa Grill ~ 102 5th Avenue ~ NYC, NY ~ 212.807.7400
Mesa Grill on Urbanspoon

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4 Responses

  1. thanks for the input .. i was planning to go there but i’ll pass for another place

  2. That’s too bad. So many restaurants take the boring, cheap way out during RW. Pretty lame. It’s one reason I don’t go out to eat that week. I know it’s always a crapshoot whether I’ll get to experience what the restaurant does best or just get some cheap uninspired piece of fish.

    • Depends on the restaurant. Certain restaurants – like anything by Danny Meyer – you know you are going to have a great experience!

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