Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bits & Morsels goes to Match 65

Almond cake at Match 65.

A good restaurant is hard to find. I went to Match 65 earlier this week and was greeted warmly; which always brings to mind what many restaurants these days seem to be lacking (the warmth ... not the summer heat). I stopped by for dinner last week and it was ahustling and abustling. Generally speaking, when a restaurant is too busy to the point where you have to wait outside for a table to magically appear, many customers don't tend to stick around, while many of those same restaurants don’t seem to care. At Match 65, Maître d' Benjamin Annequin told me to wait a few minutes because a few tables would be finishing up soon. Yes, this was a simple gesture, but he was telling the truth. I am not a regular at Match 65 and have only been there a handful of times which made the indication all the more genuine.

There is a certain friendly quality at Match 65 and it starts from the front of house. The restaurant is open late and there are always a few people loitering at the bar. Match 65 (located on 65th street between Park and Madison) serves French classic bistro food as well as sushi. Yes sushi. Now you wouldn’t necessarily choose sushi to order off of a bistro menu, but Match 65 has a sushi chef and the quality is très bon. Since Match is usually hyperactive, they generate high turnover with their food. The end result: everything is always fresh. The menu is full of items that all appeal to me. The dishes are also tightly prepared and what you see is what you get. If Match 65 were a guy, he would be my kind of guy.

The fish and chips come piping hot with ketchup and tartar sauce. It’s not deconstructed fussy fish and chips with six different dipping sauces. And to start, they offer these delicious flatbreads with toppings like sun dried tomato and goat cheese or the figs and brie which I had, and which worked beatifully. The creaminess and the bite of the cheese with the natural sweetness of the figs. Who knew something so simple could create a symphony of flavors and textures. For dessert make sure to order the almond cake, one of the best desserts I've had in a while. The cake is light and not too sweet, served warm and wonderfully fragrant. This one little cake smells like a bakery. It’s served with ice cream but it really needs nothing at all. Match 65 , 29 East 65th Street, (212) 737-4400.
Clockwise from top left: Match 65; Endives salad with mozzarella; Pizzete with figs and brie; French onion soup.
Clockwise from top left: Tuna avocado roll with crunch; Tuna tartar; Fish and chips; Shrimp cocktail.
Clockwise from top left: Maître d' Benjamin Annequin; Croque-monsieur; Open all year round; My trusty cappuccino.
The grace period for restaurants to post calories is officially over. If a restaurant with multiple locations in New York does not comply with the law, they will be fined. I know that for me viewing the amount of calories in certain foods has been a deterrent when deciding what and how much of it to eat. [The New York Times]

I don’t eat oysters
but I am fascinated by them and their role in food history. Did you know New York City used to have so many oysters that you could get them freshly shucked almost everywhere? Here is a list of places to get your raw oyster fix. Keens are on the list and it is one of the oldest restaurants in New York. [Gridskipper]

Street meat has become a food group all its own for New Yorkers on the go. Midtown seems to be saturated with vendors selling chicken or lamb over rice with a mysterious white sauce. Midtown Lunch did thorough blind taste tests of 13 Manhattan street vendors. [Midtown Lunch]

I hope this is implicit, but just in case I want to let NYSD readers know that I welcome all e-mails and feedback. If you need some dining suggestions or you want me to explore a restaurant or two, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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