OK, it’s getting a bit predictable now

I have to admit to feeling a bit like it’s Groundhog Day now. Once again, I find myself in a “typical” American restaurant in New York. I’m in one of the dining meccas of the world and I end up eating American. So it was that I found myself having a business lunch in Bar Americain (http://www.baramericain.com/) on 52nd and 6th.

With high ceilings and wall to wall linen, the signs were truly promising. Front of house was typically sycophantic but struggled to show us to our table until we insisted. No rush then – take your time. When we finally ended up at our balcony table I was immediately struck by the lack of what I’m accustomed to in New York – the over-excited server spewing out the daily specials almost like their lives depended on it. Clearly, either no specials today or we didn’t look like “specials” people. Still, the iced water remained constantly full which is something UK restaurants should take note of.

Still feeling slightly queasy from Oystergate, I chose safe and plain. On the recommendation of my host, I ordered the onion soup which I have to admit was very, very good despite the presence of a soggy crouton covered in cheese that acted as a sort of “lid”. Never seen that with soup before – must be an American thing. Still, at least it kept the soup nice and warm and turned what could have been a vaguely healthy starter into a proper, full-on fatboy lardfest. Americans don’t seem to do healthy very well. The New York strip that I ordered medium-rare for main course was more like rare-rare. In fact if it wasn’t for exceptionally sharp steak knife I think I would have had trouble slicing it. My acid test for a really good steak is that you should be able to eat it with a normal knife – this was far from it. So, despite giving it a good try, I did end up leaving a fair chunk of it. All in all, rather disappointing. Dessert menu was so disappointing that I didn’t find anything that I fancied so I had a cup of over-brewed coffee instead. Yum.

Perhaps I’m just becoming a steak snob but even average Joe would find the steak at Bar Americain rather disappointing. I should have ordered the chicken pot pie that one of our guests chose which looked far nicer. I will be having a steak embargo from this point onwards. Haven’t been in a diner on this trip yet – may try that tomorrow.


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