Monday, January 12, 2004

The Restaurant I Ate at Last Night XXVIII

Several colleagues from work and I treated a departing coworker to dinner mid-last week at Amuse on W. 18th. While slightly out of my price -- and ego -- range, the tony eatery impressed more than it amused. And at about $70 a head, I think it's good such send offs are rare. We shared a bunch of starters, including an upper-crust macaroni and cheese and a gourmet pulled-pork tortilla spiked with cumin and black-eyed peas, and my entree of duck was delish. The short-rib main course also received high marks. Knowing that the restaurant's space has housed bars and restaurants for about a century helped ground me amidst the hype and hubbub. After eating, we repaired to the upstairs of the Cedar Tavern, now a long ways away from its storied beat past. After an initial -- and amusing -- run in with the bartender, we were welcomed with open arms and almost outstayed our welcome.

Friday night after work, I ventured into the back side of the Palace Cafe, the corner bar near my new digs. In operation and family run for almost 50 years, the Palace appears to be predominately a bar -- but also includes a full-service restaurant with little decor but a solid homemade menu. On Fridays, the bartender's brother secures plenty of seafood, so I tried the fish and chips. Featuring a lightly breaded filet, the main dish was quite simple and good -- but the lentil soup starter stole the show. I'll eat there again. Interestingly enough, the Palace is even listed in the Payphone Project. Please don't ask for me by name.

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