Adventures of a Gastronome in Training (GIT)

One amateur foodie's quest for culinary enlightenment. Musings on cooking, dining, food products, basically all things edible are fair game.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Landmarc (the second visit)

My second trip to Landmarc was a mess. Marty and I and two friends ate there last night upon my recommendation. The evening started off okay with our seemingly hearing-impaired waiter (he continually responded, “ What?” to every request) recommending another nice, yet inexpensive pick from the wine list. I tried the chopped salad ($9) with celery, cucumber, hearts of palm, beets, and balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was pleasant, yet pretty basic, something you could make at home very easily.

Then rolled in our entrees, one grilled pork chop ($21) with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions and apples, one burger with fries, and two sautéed calf's livers ($21) with peas, scallions and caramelized onion whipped potatoes. One problem, only one liver had been ordered and one roasted salmon ($19) ratatouille and black olive tapenade was noticeably absent. We immediately notified the runner who brought the food, and liver number two exited. After a few minutes, our server came over apologized and said the salmon would be out shortly. At this point, I didn’t want to fuss over the missing cheese on my burger that we theorized our waiter did not hear me request. After everyone else was halfway through their respective entrees, the salmon arrived. We were relieved only momentarily, when my friend noticed just how underdone the salmon was. When he ordered the salmon, the server noted that the chef prepares it medium rare. My friend, not really comfortable with this idea, requested it to be medium. Well, when the missing salmon arrived, it was just this side of raw. It looked like the seared rare tuna that was so the craze a few years back, but in salmon form, no where near medium. At this point, I am feeling terrible. My friend opts out of the salmon and goes for a burger. It came to the table prepared as requested well after everyone else was done eating.

Then problem number two revealed itself. Marty had been picking away at the edges of his liver throughout the ordeal. All that was left was center was a mushy, gelatinous-like mess. The piece was big enough that Marty did not want to complain, but the half the liver was uneatably raw. We asked our waiter about it. He said, “I don’t know about liver. I haven’t had it before.” You’ve got to be kidding, it’s supposed to be one of their specialties. (By the way, I tried an edge piece of the liver and decided I don’t like liver. A minor step back in my gastronomic quest.)

We finished with pint-sized desserts that were on the house, one lemon tart, one blueberry crumble, and two chocolate mousses. Each retails for $3 each and is a nice treat for when you’re not really hungry enough for a full-blown dessert. My lemon tart was pretty typical, but met my needs.

Luckily, we were all in good moods, and didn’t let all the problems bring us down. However, outside the restaurant, I asked my friends who hadn’t been there before if they would come back. They answered with a resounding, “no.” I don’t feel as strongly, mainly because it’s in my neighborhood, so I am willing to cut it more slack. There aren’t too many decent, relatively inexpensive places that I know of in TriBeCa. Plus, there are things we’ve had there that have been worth re-ordering (burger, steak, quail, pork chop), and the wine prices are great. Maybe it was an off night, a stroke of bad luck. Regardless, I’ll give it a few more chances before I cement my opinion. And don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know.


Anonymous DC said...

I can understand the "one bad night" experience, but I've been to Landmarc about five times and it has been "pretty good" the one time and "f*cking amazing" the other times. Do yoursef a favor and get David (the sommelier) over to your table and get his help in ordering something special - after all, the more you spend on their wine list the bigger the bargain you're getting. I work in the wine industry - believe me, the list is a gem. Anyway, discuss what you want to eat at the same time as discussing wine, and you'll be assured a magnifico time. I don't even live near Tribeca and consider this MY fav neighborhood spot!

8:01 PM  

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Jennie/Female. Lives in United States/Jennie Auster/New York, speaks English. Eye color is blue.