I’m a little late in reporting this one, but I could not forget about it altogether because my dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea was truly unforgettable. Make sure you’ve got deep pockets for this one because it will set you back a small mortgage, but it was delicious. We were celebrating Dana’s Columbia Masters, so the Smiles fam pulled out all the stops.
When I consulted Zagats before heading to the restaurant, I read that it is the place to go to pop the question (don’t get your panties in a wad – I am not engaged). I was happy to find that the West Village spot was not syrupy with the romance vibe, which would be a tad much for a Monday night group dinner. Instead I found Aaron Burr’s former carriage house to be a warm, unique setting. I must admit I only really remember Aaron Burr from the original “Got Milk” commercial, but I thought the historic ambiance was nice.
There is no such thing as à la carte. There is a chef’s tasting menu ($105 or $160 with wine pairings) or a 3 course prix fixe ($78). I opted for the prix fixe but then came the tough part of choosing my courses. In the end, I went with the following:
- Appetizer: Trio of housemade sausages (venison, rabbit, and pheasant) served with pesto rice a la plancha, caramelized red onion, and smoked blueberry sauce. I kept going back and forth trying to pick my favorite sausage but decided it was pretty much a wash because they were all delicious and the creamy rice and sauce rounded out the dish perfectly. Sausage also seemed like an appropriate choice for the old English hunting feel of the restaurant.
- Entrée: Roasted rack of lamb with saffron gnocci, fiddlehead ferns (a new fave), wild ramps, fava beans, and crispy mint. Crazy good. The lamb was cooked perfectly and was not overpowered by the accompaniments. I also tried a bite of Dave’s lobster ravioli (my Mommy ordered the same and deemed it a hit), which was awesome and unlike any lobster ravioli I have tried before. Lumb lobster meat versus the typically minced/blended made a huge difference.
- Dessert: Almond milk panna cotta with sable breton, strawberry tapioca, strawberry soda, lychee sorbet, fresh strawberries, and fresh lychee. I was a little worried about this one because while I love almonds, I hate almond flavoring. But when the waitress proclaimed this the chef’s recommendation, I had to try. SO glad I went with the suggestion. The creamy panna cotta was juxtaposed with the fizzy soda and tapioca bubbles for a little shindig in my mouth. After the heavier app and entrée, the lighter dessert was a great finish. Again, Dave and my mother ordered the same thing and their oohs and ahhs were enough to guide my fork to their plates for a rich and delicious peanut butter fondant cake filled with dulce de leche and served with root beer gelé, root beer sorbet, and peanut brittle.
Yes, it’s pricey, but at least the prices are set so you know exactly what you’re getting into. There’s no surprise of your date ordering a $50 entrée forcing you to get the salad to ensure the bill is covered. This is definitely a place for the parents, so if they beg and plead to go somewhere fancy in a cool neighborhood (I’m sure they’d really have to twist your arm), they will definitely like this one.