Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spice Market - Wowie Kazowie!

Last Thursday night we went to Spice Market for dinner - it's Restaurant week :) And Spice Market is a TREAT! We started by sitting with a cocktail - I tried the Peach Saketini - made with my current absolute favorite spirit, Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka and then plum saki and blended peach. It was lovely. Rick had the Whiskey Fizz - whisky with stuff I can't remember now, but was really tasty :) I think his was better :)
We were brought a gorgeous dish of  lentil chips (so delicate and gorgeously flavored) and a tomato relish as described by our server - it was absolutely delish! A sweet and very spicy dip.
We so enjoyed our appetizers - first was the salmon tartar with avocado. Is there any way to serve fresh avocado and not have it be amazing?? I don't think so. Rick even liked this one. I was surprised and amazed. Next were chicken samosas with a cilantro yogurt sauce - the samosas were made with dark meat chicken - moist and flavorful, and the sauce started with a fresh hit of parsley and cilantro on the tongue, and exploded with spice. Simply fabulous!
I asked for beer recommendations at this point - something to go with all this spicey deliciousness. The waitress made pointed out a couple of white ales. Rick had the Coney Island Albino, and I had the Hitachino from Japan. It was the first time I paid $12 for a bottle of beer. But, it was tasty :)

This was the spicy thai slaw with asian pear, crispy shallots and mint. Sweet and spicy, a large serving of freshness, reminiscent of my Thai Chicken Salad, but much much spicier! And the sweet asian pear was just enough to put the fire out :)

The beef skewers were interesting - a mixture of ground beef and spices formed over the bamboo stick, and cooked. The cumin and chili was interesting, and there was definitely something in there that made us go "hmmmmmmm....what is that?".

This is an extra order of fried rice, suggested as an addition to the restaurant week menu. I was glad to try it, though the egg was a little over done, it was a tasty addition. In retrospect, it was gilding the lily, and we already had too much food,

The Vietnamese Chicken Curry was my favorite dish. It was creamy, crispy, tender, spicy and smooth. 2 well cooked chicken drumsticks with the favorful sauce - so nice.

The roasted cod was my least favorite - the fish was fresh, but the spicy lentils really overpowered the dish - We didn't finish it.
The 2 desserts for restaurant week were lovely. The kulfa was a lightly chocolatey caramelly candy. The caramelized banana rested on top with whipped cream and caramel popcorn. Sweet, an occasional spark of salt, and the perfectly ripe banana were a nice treat at the end of a yummy meal.
The ginger ice cream was also very tasty - uniquely flavored, but I won't be leaving my favorite chocolate behind :)

Everything at Spice Market is served family style, so I'd imagine it's a great place to take friends or visitors. The restaurant is very large for NYC standards - 2 very large floors of happy satisfied diners, and many well trained servers. The waitress uniforms are quite unique as well - entirely backless. Any where else it would be incredibly cheezy, but here it adds to the mystery of the decor and of course the lovely food.

I am looking forward to going again soon, so hopefully I will have a visitor sometime soon so I can have an excuse :)