Bloomingdale Road, Chef Ed Witt
2398 Broadway (at 88th), New York, NY
I swear that I never, never, never, listen on to the conversations of others. That said, last night at the new Bloomingdale Road restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York, the three people seated right next to us were so loud, that I could not help myself. I quickly learned that the tall, handsome fellow with graying hair dressed all in black, “Lee,” was from New York. One of the women, “”Priscilla,” was around fifty, dressed in a classic suit and styled her hair in a Republican helmet bob. The third woman was medium in height and frame, had long brown hair with the sides pulled back and bangs. She wore eyeglasses and had a big mouth and big lips. They called her Sarah. Their discussion of this new restaurant was fairly interesting, so while I never, never, never repeat conversations, I thought I it would be okay to share the following with you:
Lee: This place is pretty cool – I like the way it’s decorated. I can’t remember the previous Aix décor that preceded Bloomingdale Road.
Priscilla: Tres chic. Tres, tres chic.
Sarah: We sure are up high.
Lee: We’re only on the second floor.
Pris: You KNOW that the chef, Ed Witt, was previously at Varietal.
Lee: Yes, and he has prepared what looks like an interesting American menu, perhaps with a southern flare. Witt has included all things fall – plenty of pumpkin, pomegranate, figs, butternut squash, autumn squash, sage, chestnuts.
Priscilla: I can read.
Sarah: Yeah, I see what you mean – coconut milk in the lobster bisque.
Lee: Let’s try some appetizers and share an entrée. This way we can sample a broader variety of food — the waiter said that the food is meant to be shared.
Pris: Yes, you do that. I will select the wine. A nice Chenin Blanc.
Lee: How about the spiced butternut squash dip with toasted fruit bread? And a side of the roasted pumpkin wedges?
Pris: I would like to try the pumpkin escarole with pomegranate, sheep cheese and sherry vinaigrette, and the fig and arugula with crispy ham, goat cheese and vanilla vinaigrette.
Sarah: Anything with moose on this menu? (cocking her arm and aiming her finger) Boom!
Waiter: Who would like to taste the wine?
Pris: Me, of course. (Tastes it). Fine. Nice bouquet. However, this will be much better with food.
After the waiter leaves the table:
Pris: Did you SEE that waiter handle the mouth of the bottle with his fingers? How gauche!
Sarah: Can a person even get a beer around here?
Lee: Let’s share the farfalle with chestnuts, autumn squash, pecorino and sage.
Pris: Where DID that waiter go?
Waiter finally shows up.
Waiter: Great choices. I’ll bring them out as they come up.
Ten minutes later:
Lee: Finally, the pumpkin salad and the dip.
Pris: Where IS the sheep cheese on this salad? It’s missing. And the “toasted fruit bread” is NOT toasted and is really only raisin bread.
Lee: Just eat it – I’ll find the waiter to get the sheep cheese.
Ten minutes later:
Different Waiter: Sorry for the problem with your salad.
Pris: Actually, the wine is not very cold.
Lee: Just drink it. It takes too long to get service around here.
Pris: Maybe we should have waited until this place was not so new. I would have THOUGHT that four weeks would be soon enough to try it out. Furthermore, all the dishes have about the same flavor – but the figs were actually tasteless. Did you taste any crispy ham? If there was any on that dish, it escaped me.
Lee: I agree, although I really enjoyed the farfalle. It was cooked to perfection.
Pris: You mean, al dente! It was delicious. Everything else was mediocre, at best.
Sarah: I have to pee.
Lee: I’ll get the check while you two go to the restroom.
After returning from the restroom:
Lee: I still don’t have the check.
Pris: Where IS that waiter? And someone needs to tell the manager to clean up the bathrooms.
Lee: Let’s try this place again in about six months, if it’s still around.
Sarah (winking):Okie-dokie, artichokie!
by Jane Hruska