Monday, September 12, 2011

Isle of Delight at The Strand NYC

By: Finance Foodie

When I lived in NYC, I would often go to birthday parties at The Strand Hotel, but was surprised to recently hear that the hotel also had a restaurant on the first floor (these things often get overlooked at 4am in the morning and after copious amounts of motivational beverages!). Therefore, on my last trip back to the City for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I thought, "What a completely fitting time to check out this Fashion District hotspot for dinner!"

Helmed by Executive Chef Kelvin Fernandez (also of "Chopped" fame), The Strand Bistro serves American cuisine with contemporary and eclectic influences. When I walked in, I could already see this reflected in the decor -- with its bookshelves filled with leather-bound novels well-meshed next to a modernly chic aquarium. As for the cuisine, I started out with an excellent Gulf Shrimp Risotto which immediately put me in a great mood (which I needed after running around to fashion shows all day!). The shrimp was nicely plump and light, which paired very well with the rich and creamy risotto.
I decided seafood would be the theme of the night, so I ordered the Ahi Tuna served atop Baby Bok Choy, and Shitake Mushrooms as my main course. Although I wished the tuna came with white rice to dilute the saltiness of the dish, I was impressed with the nice consistency and freshness of the tuna steaks. I also appreciated that each piece of tuna was cut bite-sized -- which happened to fit into my mouth just swimmingly!
I was a bit hesitant ordering a side of mac n' cheese (afterall, I still had two days left of fitting into sample sized dress for Fashion Week shows)-- but this turned out to be a fantastic move! Incredibly melt in your mouth and cheesy, pasta cooked perfectly al dente, plus crispy toasted breadcrumbs as the icing on the cake -- this was by far the best dish of the night!
Since I figured this was going to be my "splurge" meal of the week after gobbling down all the mac n cheese, obviously I was going to go for dessert. The newfangled Carrot Cake served with coconut sorbet (instead of cream cheese icing) was super interesting and a great play on a traditional Carrot Cake.
 What a great (and lighter) way to end my meal -- the fashion Gods would totally approve!

The Strand Bistro
33 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212) 584-4000

Strand American Bistro on Urbanspoon

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