Wednesday, July 9, 2008

5 Napkin Burger

There is a battle royale brewing on 9th. Ave between 44th. and 45th. with two restaurant giants. In one established corner is Marseilles groundbreaking a few years ago for it's french fare. Next up, is Nizza owned by the man behind Nice Matin on the Upper West Side whose Meditteranean fare is always consistently good. Now the Marseilles owner stakes his claim on the opposite corner with 5 Napkin Burger, a sort of cliche title considering the eclectic menu. I admit not to eating the juicy looking burger with ripe red tomato or the crispy, appearing fries instead opting for something more continental. Before I get to the food, this big corner space is decorated in white tile(very popular these days) and with multicolored cushioney banquettes as well comphy vintagey style chairs and a few black booths. Industrial style lighting shines down from metal bars holding light bulbs. Also, I found the service to be excellent something I read negatively about on other blogs. Now for the grub- I ordered the raclette a German/French specialty and having eaten raclete a dozen times in Deutschland, this bore no resemblence except for the goey, rich raclette cheese on top with chopped pickles or cornichons. The potatoes used were idaho completely wrong for the dish as well as a lack of quark(yogurt and cheese) or sour cream as a condiment. The cheese was raclette and is the same as the name of the dish and it cost $9.50. The main was a pasta primavera a strange choice for a burger joint, but this dish for $16.50 with marscapone cheese was one of the most perfect ever eaten. These guys are pros and the perfectly cooked al dente pasta was served with a mix of perfectly cooked veggies like asparagus, broccoli and zucchini, and peas with marscapone cheese which added a rich decadent flavor. Next time, I may opt for the juicy cheddar, bacon burger if I am feeling in the mood for beef.

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