I’ve already discussed how I watch an exorbitant amount of television and this also includes food-related shows. I love Top Chef. When I went to Vegas a couple of months ago, I planned my entire trip around restaurants featured in the Top Chef Las Vegas edition. I watched the not-very-good America’s Next Great Restaurant hosted by Bobby Flay and am currently watching The Next Food Network Star, which is also hosted by Mr. Flay.
As I gathered suggestions for restaurants in New York, the amazing Rhiannon sent me a list of places, including Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain. 5 minutes later, I made a reservation to eat at Bar Americain with my New York friend, Emily.
We started the meal with the walla walla onion tart and the wild mushroom salad. The onion tart was the only disappointing dish of the meal. The tart was like a quiche and it was topped with smoked salmon. I honestly thought that the salty smoked salmon didn’t really go that well with the sweet caramelized onions baked inside the egg quiche. Although the picture of the wild mushroom salad doesn’t look like much, that was probably one of the best salads I’ve ever had. It was so full of flavor and I think the secret was the mustard-molasses dressing. It took the meaning of “honey mustard” sauce to a whole new level.
The shrimp and grits were yum-o. The grits had a light, fluffy consistency, but you could taste all the butter. The shrimp was cooked perfectly. Then Bobby added the perfect ingredient– bacon. What’s not to love when a dish includes chopped bacon? That extra crunch made the dish more “lively” with extra texture in the smooth grits. Everything just went together so well and it wasn’t overly salty.
I felt like a cave man while eating my lamb chop. I wasn’t really expecting a big chunk of meat with a bone. That probably wouldn’t have been a good “first date” dish. Imagine trying to be dainty and elegant while trying to cut a big hunka chunka meat. The lamp chop was cooked in a mustard BBQ sauce (I seriously had no idea I enjoyed mustard that much) and served with a sweet potato gratin. My meat was cooked at a wonderful medium rare and was tender. I liked how the sweet potatoes balanced out the saltiness of the meat.
We were both too full to eat dessert (I know, who am I?). The ambiance was very different from Babbo. While Babbo was dark and intimate, Bar Americain was brighter and full of businessmen at their “power” meals. I actually liked how Bar Americain had REALLY HIGH ceilings with funky lights but still felt warm and welcoming.
I enjoyed my meal at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain a lot more than Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak in Las Vegas. And yes, my friends tell me how Bobby Flay looks like a total jerk on TV, but I have to give mad props to him. The man can cook and definitely knows his sh*t.