West Seventy6 Grill
I was invited me to come in as they re-designed their menus since the beginning of the year. To be honest would've probably made it at West Seventy6 Grill sooner or later, judging by their substantial urbanspoon score.
a rich yellow-gold, with some legs
Its a tricky entrance - from of the Marriott Hotel and then to the left. An orange wordmark screen next to a bright entrance welcomed us with menus and wine bottles on a barrel to the side. I do think the wordmark can use a 3D signage treatment, though. There is something about spelling out a number which feels right and the elegant sail illustration - varying line thickness gives it a passionate feel.
honey, oak, peechy
We entered the main, spacious room - stone bar base, maroon curtains and chair pillows, dark wooden floors and tables with glasses and white napkins waiting. For a second there, we both thought we are completely under-dressed, however as we joined the crowd outside, we realized there's nothing to worry about. We were instantly greeted and asked to take a seat. A small table waited for us with chairs angled towards the lake.
earth hints, strong character
My prejudice for a restaurant inside a hotel by the lakeshore, would be that it is snobby and overpriced. I was more than pleased to see that stereotype get blown away, with the pleasant light breeze on the terrace. The lunch menu was a single page - clean and simple. The classy drinks menu stood up waiting - black scratch-textured skin with the logo screen-printed in the middle. I was curious to ask for the chef's special. My mouth watered as I listened, so I went with their Farmer's Field Salad. Cheri being a Pulled Pork fan, decided to give it a try, eventhough he was tempted by a few other dishes. I wanted to try a glass of the Baco Noir, and we decided to ask for a recommendation to go along with the pulled pork. The trick was that we wanted a white one. Our waiter recommended a Pinot Grigio, and so we followed his advise. The bit of the parking lot in our view was easy to forget, as we watch people go along the green lakeshore.
full-bodied complex and smooth
Our wines arrived. We sipped them, both light with interesting bouquets, sitting in the shade with a flower pot on the side. It was quiet and peaceful as the time slowed down. You can only hear people's quiet chatter, as if everyone was careful not to ruin this precious moment. Our only wish was for a soft sound, perhaps a light wooden wind-chime to make these moments even better. Our dishes quickly arrived . My salad was a piece of art - vibrant colours and textures painting the white plate. Tender salmon over a bed of arugula leaves, covered with apples, and.. I though macadamia nuts. I asked a waiter about the spicy sauce and this mystery nut and he informed me it was peanut salsa. Cheri's pulled pork came on a pretzel baguette with a side of thinly slices fries. The pork was cooked perfectly - in a chipotle, coke braise. It was a bit on the sweet side but it was beautifully complemented with mango coleslaw and onion.
evolving and interesting - deepening the experience
As we finished licking our fingers we asked for the dessert menu. The waiter, who mentioned it was his first day, was perfect in his descriptions. We decided to try both dessert options: whisky-maple creme brule and the lemon, mint cheesecake. Both presented beautifully and making my tastebuds purr. On top of that, since I was curious how the whisky-maple was worked into the creme brule, the chef himself came out to explain his secret to me - how exquisite! He also is a big fan incorporating the local market produce into his dishes.
Dave, the restaurant supervisor, came to let us know that dessert was complimentary. I have to say, no matter what that number at the end was, it was definitely worth it.
overall... an intimate, complex Chardonnay