Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mid week lunch at Banc Cafe Murray Hill

After walking down to Bed Bath and Beyond for a shower curtain rod (that they didn't have) yesterday, I strolled back toward home thinking "Wow - this is one of those days you just hope for when planning a vacation. Not too hot, gorgeous sun, and simply fabulous." I decided I must take advantage of the day and find a place to eat lunch outside. Days like today I wish we had a patio or balcony.

Being new to Murray Hill, I saw the big advertisement at Tonic East indicating roof deck dining, and decided to go over. I got to the door, and it looked like it had been closed by the liquor commisioner or board of health or something. They had their own sign indicating they would be open next Tuesday after refurbishing the rooftop deck. Hmmmmmm.......

I kept walking and saw the Banc Cafe. It's been on my list to try, and they had outdoor seating - yes, this was perfect :) The Maitre'D asked me to select a table, and I loaded my shopping bundles on to the other chair and gratefully sat down. Water was immediately brought, and the waiter was there not long after. I ordered a beer, and perused the menu. They have a number of salad options that you can mix and match with different protiens - chicken, shrimp, crab cake, salmon, and steak. I wanted a salad, but I kept looking at the menu to see if there were other things Rick might like. They offer a number of different wraps and sandwiches - the chicken BLT was something I thought about switching to - served with avacado I believe and french fries. But really, I didn't need the carbs or the fatty fries, so I went back to the salads. I selected the Country salad - bib, radicchio and endive lettuces with jullienned apple, rich bleu cheese crumbles and walnuts. I added grilled salmon. The waiter smiled and congratulated me on a fine choice - he was sure I would enjoy it. He was right.

The salad was crisp, fresh and cool and the salmon was very hot and very fresh. Honestly, it is really difficult to get good fish in the city at a mid range restaurant. I have been disappointed time and time again to the point that I often don't even try. I guess living on the seacoast all those years really did spoil me. So I was especially excited when this fish was perfect :)

I enjoyed my meal, evesdropping on the tables near by (this one can't count how many times she missed her flight to Paris, that one with her friend in scrubs talks about how she doesn't trust doctors.....nothing too interesting, but out of my head at least). The sun was warm enough to give me a bit of a sunburn on my arms. All in all a tremendously relaxing time.