Last week, my husband and I made a last minute reservation at Mike’s Bistro located at 127 East 54th Street (between Park and Lexington) in New York City- 212-799-3911. It was our first time; but definitely won’t be our last!
We walked into a lovely warm room with exposed brick columns and wooden floors. The lighting was bright enough to read the menu but subtle enough to be relaxing. I’m sure all the waiters are terrific and well informed; but we had Miguel who was amazing. He knew how each drink and dish was prepared and was personally involved in recommending different dishes and then checking in with us to be sure we were happy with our selections.
Richard and I both started off with drinks. My husband chose his usual v & t with lime. I asked Miguel for a recommendation and then chose a Pomelo and Tequila frothy drink which could have been called a Grapefruit Margarita. The Pomelo is a little less acidic than grapefruit so the drink was really delicious as was the bread and olive oil that was served with it.
Richard chose a mushroom and noodle dish in a porcini and truffle accented chicken broth. It was very good- warming and and mild. I chose the Merguez sausage dumplings in a plum sauce-with a nice slice of plum. They were outstanding. Mike told me later that this was the first time he was serving the plum sauce. He told me the inspiration came from his Mother’s plum compote which he took to a different level. The plum flavors with the lamb sausage were out of this world.
For entrees, I chose the duck confit with braised red cabbage and a mixture of farro and lentils with a mulberry pomegranate sauce. I was served a leg and a thigh of a very meaty duck that had been cooked in its own fat-confit. The meat was so tender, it fell off the bone and the skin was crisp. The sauce, well everything around it, was spectacular. Richard really wanted to order the duck breast; but Miguel convinced him to order a meat different from mine, so he had the short ribs with sundried tomato barbecue glaze, mashed yams, braised kale and a turnip puree with cilantro and mustard. He ate the whole thing. It was absolutely wonderful.
Stuffed as we were, we shared an apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle for dessert. I always ask about the ingredients used to create a pareve ice cream before I order it. Often, I refuse it. This time, Miguel told me that the ice cream is made in-house from almond and cashew milk. First , let me say that the ice cream was the best pareve ice cream I’ve ever tasted; but let me also add that people need to be made aware in this day of nut milks and other ingredients that you can neither see nor smell, that if you have any allergies, you must ask about ingredients.
Chef Mike has created a restaurant of impeccable taste and spectacular food. We look forward to our next visit.