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I met a friend here last night for drinks and between us we had four excellent (as well they should be at $15) cocktails. My Bijou contained gin, Carpano vermouth, chartreuse and was really very fine. It was strong and slightly sweet and I decided to go for a vesper as my second drink because I wanted something a bit more astringent. Great version. Our server was terrific---we were at one of the stand up tables in the bar along with about a thousand others and her efficiency was impressive.

 

Annoyance: I arrived around 5:50 and when I asked the Library major domo for seats for two (I spied at least 6 empty seats)she said 'are you a guest of the hotel?' 'No? Then it will be a 45 minute wait.' She wasn't exactly rude, but I would say her reply was crisp bordering on curt. Even more annoying was that when colleagues of a fellow I was chatting with in the main bar arrived he, who was not a guest at the hotel (I know this because it came up in our discussion), and his party were ushered into the library after a very short wait by the same woman who had brushed me off. Grrrr.

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NoMad opened to the public on Monday, March 26th. My blog post is about our "Friends & Family" dinner.

Can I cook my food too?

I dined at the bar at the NoMad last fall (I think it was a Saturday night) and the place was like a mosh pit. Nice food though.

I had dinner there last wednesday and the food was absolutely amazing. Brunch, however, is a different story. The food is mediocre at best and the service suck ass.

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I beg to disagree. Take a place like Miss Lilly's or even a drama place like Freeman's. You get there, they bring you the coffee and orange juice, you order your food, it gets to your table 15-20 minutes later. You eat and then you are off to do whatever you do.

 

We walked in at 11:17 and did not get our coffee until 11:50. The server told us that the coffee is brewing that was why it took that long. That does not explain why the coffee got to our table on the cold side of lukewarm. With the time it took, I could have hobbled down to stump town, ordered a latte or espresso and still made it before them.

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That's not saying the brunch at Miss Lily's or Freeman's is good, just that the service is efficient.

 

No one wants to work brunch, not the cooks, not the front-of-house. It is the hellhole of restaurant service. Been there, done that as you might know. ;)

 

Hey, heal quickly!

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Yes, was seated in what I suppose is the Atrium, with skylight roof (which must be a killer on a hot day).

 

Since I was by myself and couldn't go for the chicken (at least four tables did, though, while I was there), I had suckling pig. Delicious. although the loin component needed just a touch of salt to finish its flavor. As were the sweetbreads "snack" that I would never be able to share with Paul because he is deathly afraid of fried foods. I kind of wish I had someone to share that with, as sweetbreads are so rich.

 

Piedmont Fizz cocktail while very refreshing is still just a touch too sweet for my palate. But nicely lemony. Copain pinot noir (2010) was good with the pig, and Weimer 2012 late-harvest riesling (a full pour) went well with cheeses, although the Camembert wast juuuuust this side of overripe.

 

All in all, a lovely lunch. The room had the feel of a slightly more tasteful Hotel Griffou when Dave was there. Bizarre floor tiles in the restroom.

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Drinks and some food last night at the bar. Let me get this out of the way first: the bar seats/stools/steats? suck.

 

But everything else was damn good. There is a whole section of "light cocktails." You know, heavier on the modifier than a classic cocktail. Sherry, vermouth, amari - they all get to shine in these, and both The Cardinale and The Sippy Cup were perfect on a warm summer evening.

 

We snacked on the fried chicken and sweetbreads from the bar menu. Both prepared very well.

 

We also had Le Grand Plateau of seafood, which at $24 per person I think is one of the better deals going. Six individual elements per person, including an uni custard topped with caviar, a wonderful raw scallop, lobster salad, an oyster, hamachi tartare and king crab (yes, Sneak, I drank a nice white wine with this).

 

Then I enjoyed a 1794 cocktail (what some might call a rye Negroni) prepared by its inventor, Dominic Venegas, who was working one end of the bar last night.

 

COMP DISCLOSURE: Yes, some cocktails.

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Had a very nice visit to Nomad the other day. As it turns out, I had a friend in the house, and re-reading Sneak, oakapple and even roz's early reports, it seems it's a "thing" to seat people in the atrium when they first visit. Meaning the restaurant presumably sees it as it's best foot forward? If I find the time to go again, I would like to try the parlor to compare. On the positive side it's very "buzzy" so it's nice to be in the mix. On the downside it's noisier. The library seems like the best new cocktail spot in the city (for my personal loungey style), but the fireplace dining room feels like Siberia to me. Hope to avoid that spot.

 

The food was great. It's definitely fine dining minus a white table cloth in my book, as is the cost. Chicken was sensational, as expected. The commitment to grower-producers on the champagne list carried over from EMP and delights me to no end. I could eat 1000 of the sweetbread spring rolls. Missed out on trying the shellfish platter, which again, makes me want to revisit before I leave. You see many carryovers on the flavor profiles from EMP, but these do get reshaped in a new way. Quite pleasing.

 

Hard to get in though. Before I got rescued off a waiting list, it's basically 10:30 all week long and they have been open for almost a year? As popular as any place I've seen this visit - jam packed at 9:30 on a Tuesday when I left.

 

comp: entree of morels to accompany our chicken.

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