Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 778 : Is plaid in? Did I miss the memo?

This evening after a last minute change in plans, I met a friend for a glass of wine, some nibbles and girl talk at Medi, a newish Mediterranean wine bar in Hell's Kitchen. Walking into the sleek and sexy yet comfortable and rustic room with exposed brick and springtime branches, I was excited. In the summer months their back garden could be an excellent place to keep in mind and the winter months, drinks in their cozy subterranean cellar would be nice, but tonight we stayed inside and in their main space. We grabbed some seats at the bar and couldn't help but noticing first off that each of the waiters was wearing a different color and style of a plaid shirt. Ok just because the waiters were all wearing plaid would not change my opinion of the restaurant, just an interesting observation. The team in plaid although very helpful and concerned about you as the diner/consumer having a lovely evening were maybe a little too involved in our well being so much so that the bartender even crafted his own concoctions for my friend. Each was a riff on a classic Cucumber martini -- one completely different than the first. Nice to see a bartender experiment but maybe not on his customers? The first drink was lovely though so he knew what he was doing...

What to go with the drinks? How about a Mediterranean cheese plate?

Cheese plate arrives -- the waiter/bartender makes eye contact as though he is going to explain the cheeses  and then just plops it down between us. The cheeses were not laid out in order of increasing strength or age or well anything. First there was a young Manchego style cheese then an aged Parmesan then Drunken Goat and lastly a Brie -- not enough difference between the cheese for you to feel like you had a full on tasting experience with a broad range of flavor profiles. I also think that it might have been nice for them to have a list of six cheeses that folks could choose from the options and really focus on some of the excellent cheeses from the Mediterranean region, of which there are tons. For a space that clearly thought out the decor and the other menu items, it seems like they just added the cheese plate on to round out the menu. I would need to try a proper meal at a point to rate their cooked dishes rather than just the cheese. But I feel like a good restaurant/wine bar of this nature should wow in terms of cheese as well -- don't we all go out to eat to discover new tastes and flavors? A lovely time with a close friend and delish springy rose to drink, I would go to try their food. It is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and was packed to the gills but you could still hear your dining companions.

811 9th avenue

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