Thursday, August 09, 2012

Dining Out: Ouest in NYC

   While cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, my first love was, of course, eating :) While my husband and I were dating, we would go out to eat every weekend because it gave us some time to be alone and talk privately without being surrounded by our families (no offense to anyone reading this...we love you!) But since we started living together, we have opted for the more economical route of cooking more and eating out less.

   Last year, we missed NYC Restaurant Week and I wanted to make sure that we made it there this year! What better day to go than to celebrate one month of marriage? For those of you unfamiliar with Restaurant Week, about 300 restaurants in Manhattan participate using a fixed price menu consisting of three courses - $24.07 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Considering many of these restaurants would normally charge about $35 for an entree only, this is a great deal!

   Our first choice was Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's restaurant, Butter, but they were booked for the day and time that we wanted. After perusing MANY restaurant menus at the NYC Restaurant Week website, we decided on Ouest Restaurant at 2315 Broadway between 83rd and 84th Street. At first glance, the restaurant looks very small compared to the burger place next door, but the entrance (which is marked with a large, red, velour curtain which I wasn't too fond of) takes you past the bar down a long corridor where the space opens into a large dining room.

   We were seated in the main dining room which was decorated elegantly in red with romantic mood lighting.  We both liked the fact that the kitchen was open and we could see the chefs preparing meals. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. They tried to fix our wobbly table without us even asking!

Menu for Restaurant Week 2012

   They also brought us this delicious multigrain bread. 

Orecchiette Pasta
As I am 100% Italian, pasta is near and dear to my heart. The pasta was cooked al-dente, the pesto was very tasty, the sausage gave the dish the right amount of salt and the pine nuts gave the dish texture. Needless to say, I cleaned my plate.


My husband truly enjoyed his soup. It was the perfect starter for a hot, humid day in Manhattan. The shrimp were perfectly cooked.


Striped Bass with Corn Risotto
I must admit that this was my first time eating Striped Bass, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I would have liked the skin a bit crispier. Wherever the fish was lacking for me, the risotto made up for. The rice was perfectly cooked, and the corn gave a sweet morsel in each bite. The rock shrimp was also scrumptious!

Pork Chop
My husband's pork chop was moist and juicy, and we both loved the braised kale. That's saying something since he usually steers clear of most veggies! He also adored the polenta.


Panna Cotta
In retrospect, I should have just ordered 12 of these and called it a night. This was an absolutely fabulous dessert! The panna cotta had flecks of vanilla bean within it and was soft, smooth, and light. The Italian pudding was sweet and creamy and paired perfectly with the tart, acidic bath of passion fruit goodness it sat in. I loved every single bite of this dessert. In fact, I let my husband try it, and when he didn't love it as much as me I made him give it back!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
My husband loved this chocolate cake. He said that it had a rich chocolate flavor and you could tell that it was made with quality chocolate. I have to admit I only had a bite because I loved mine so much!

All the dishes were gorgeously plated, the service was attentive, and we had an amazing, romantic evening together! We would recommend this restaurant!

Stay Savory,


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