Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day Two Eighty Eight - Of autumnal inspirations and lunches along Madison Avenue...

Getting excited for tomorrow? Doesn't it feel finally like the holidays are here? I don't know what it is, but today feels like its the start of the holiday season. The Union Square Greenmarket was abuzz with people doing last minute shopping -- getting their brussel sprouts, turkey, apples, cranberries, cheese, and more... All stocking up for a day and weekend of celebrating with friends and family. As opposed to providing you with some recipes today because my dear mother is whipping up her spectacular vegetarian Thanksgiving  feast and my only contribution is a Thanksgiving cheese tasting, all of which will be discussed tomorrow... I thought I would provide you with a recap of yesterday's lunch at Fred's at Barney's.

Fred's is one of those department store eateries designed to be a place to escape the hussle and bussle of a day of shopping...These sorts of restaurants occupy an interesting position as they have built in clientele but  tend to not necessarily be places that one who wasn't shopping in the department store would want to eat at. That being said, the food at Fred's was lovely and it sure isn't a "shopper's only" restaurant -- the crowd was a mixture of power and business lunches, "the ladies who lunch," some tourists, some shoppers and even some neighborhood folk. Definitely an Upper East Side sort of feel... I imagine at night, it is actually a nice quiet spot to grab a bite.

The menu was a mixture of American and Italian classics -- pizzas, pastas, salads, sandwiches, risottos, omelettes, entrees, burgers, it truly had something for everyone, young, old, picky or open minded. Affordable and reasonable it isn't, overly expensive it isn't either -- definitely pricey however that comes with the locale.

I decided to order their autumn salad which was mixed greens, radicchio, sauteed brussel sprouts and butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, and fresh goat's cheese lightly dressed with a vinaigrette -- simple, full of harvest veggies with a rustic earthiness and the nice bitterness of the radicchio and the creamy, grassy, brightness of the cheese with a perfect amount of herbaceousness. Delish and perfect for me..

Also good to know -- they have great rosemary foccacia there!

I can't speak for the remainder of the menu, but I know my salad was delish and definitely something I would have again...maybe that's also because everything in it I love dearly...but either way, it satisfied me.

Fred's at Barney's
660 Madison Avenue, 9th floor
NYC 10065

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Good luck cooking to all of you in your kitchens this evening and good luck to all of you travelling today.

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