Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lunch at Mesa Grill & big news

This year Summer Restaurant Week in NYC was July 16th to August 10th.  I read over the list of participating restaurants and immediately knew I wanted to eat at Iron Chef Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill.  Mesa Grill's Restaurant Week menu looked very good, and so I made a reservation for me and my boyfriend, B. to have lunch last Friday.  I went to work that morning and he ran some errands in the city and we met up at the restaurant for our reservation at 1:30pm.  We were seated promptly by the window and after we ordered, we got a lovely basket of jalapeno cornbread and white bread with salted whipped butter.  Both breads were very good, though the white bread was more satisfying and sturdy, as the cornbread fell apart very quickly as we ate it.

I also ordered a cactus pear margarita with tequila, lime juice, cactus pear juice, and a lovely salted rim.  It was a very bright pink, a color which matched it strong flavor profile.  It was more sour than expected, but I did enjoy it.

Our meal was three courses, prix fixe, for $24.07.

My man, the soup, and the drink
To start, B. ordered the Fresh Tomato Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Queso.  The soup (pictured above, also with the margarita) was warm, spicy, and smooth.  It had a nice kick to it when you swallowed, but the heat wasn't overwhelming on the palate.  The tortilla strips offered some great texture along with the melt-in-the-mouth avocado.  The queso was not at all overwhelming, which I appreciated, since I don't really like cheese.  The dish was very well executed.

I started my meal with the Spicy Salmon Tartare with Crisp Hominy Cake, Piquillo Pesto and Cilantro Vinaigrette.  This was delicious.  The cold salmon with the hot hominy cake contrasted each other perfectly, and the pesto and vinaigrette combined to highlight the flavor of the fish.  I adored the textures and flavors of the dish.  I wouldn't hesitate to order this again.  It was a strong 9 out of 10.

For his main course, B. ordered the Sixteen Spice Chicken Skewers with Mint, Butter Lettuce, Pickled Red Onions and Mesa Barbecue Sauce.  The chicken was incredibly moist, tender, and flavorful.  It was not powerfully spicy, which I appreciated.  The pickled onions were a nice accompaniment and I liked that the bbq sauce was served on the side.  Another very well executed dish, we gave this an 8 out of 10.

For my main course, I ordered the Wild Striped Bass with Roasted Corn Sauce, Jalapeno Pesto and Charred Corn-Tomato Salsa.  The fish was perfectly cooked, flaky and moist.  I cannot say how much I adored the pesto, salsa, and corn sauce.  It was an absolute symphony of flavors that worked very well with the fish.  Bobby Flay has a way of skillfully combining numerous flavors and elements without overwhelming or drowning the main component.  I was wow-ed by each bite I took.  A strong 9.5 out of 10.

For dessert, I ordered the Caramel Chocolate Pudding with Malted Whipped Cream.  I can't turn down anything with caramel and chocolate in it, and I am glad I ordered this.  It was light, silky smooth, and delicious.  The caramel flavor complimented the dark chocolate wonderfully, and the malted whipped cream was a great topping.  An 8.5 out of 10.

The other dessert we ate was the Vanilla Bean Custard with Summer Berry Salad.  This was incredible.  By this point of the meal, we were both so full, but we didn't want to stop.  The dessert was just too good not to eat.  It was ethereal, delicate, and melted in the mouth in the most heavenly way imaginable.  I honestly could not imagine a way that this dessert could have been improved.  It was a 10 out of 10.

Our overall experience was Mesa Grill was wonderful.  There was great service, wonderful food, and a lovely atmosphere.

Afterwards I was in such a food coma, I wanted to just curl up with my boyfriend on a couch and nap, but he told me he wanted to meet up with his friend and former co-worker, so we headed out to Central Park.  My stomach was full of food and I was sleepy, so I walked with my eyes half closed while we ambled down a beautiful path lined with benches and trees.  B. asked me if I wanted to sit down on a bench for a moment, and I foolishly said no, because I was so tired, I was afraid if I sat down I would never get up again.  Thankfully, I gave in after a moment and settled down next to him.

He took my hand and there, on a bench in Central Park, everything changed.

When he asked me the question, I told him, "You know what my answer is."  I said yes.  He slid the ring on my finger, I forgot about everything else in world, and we kissed.  There had been a band playing by us and they stopped to look at the couple that had just gotten engaged.
I wish I could tell you how happy I am, how sweet this day was, and how blissfully in love we are, but it is all more than words can say.  I have never known love like this.  I have never known joy like this.  I have never known a man like this.  And so, I am engaged.


  1. Obviously I love the food portion, but the last little paragraph makes me overwhelmingly happy. Actually it makes me a little teary.

  2. The conclusion is so lovely it brought tears to my eyes!