G and I celebrated her birthday with dinner at the Mesa Grill. Straight away, let me say that I am not a fan of Bobby Flay. I think he's really smarmy and not in any way my favorite chef on the tv food network. But when planning our trip to NY, we had to agree that despite our great non-love for Mr. Flay, we have both always been impressed by the food he cooks, so we made the reservation and showed up on time for dinner.
We had a few rough patches initially. There was a table that was right in the doorway, and neither of us really wanted to sit in the doorway, so when we were being seated at this table (of course), we asked to be moved. The doorperson said that it may be a few minutes before we could have another table, which I said was fine. He seemed really put out that I asked. Almost immediately, he came back over and said there was a table upstairs for us. We head up and we are now being seated in the dishwashing section. No. That's not going to work either. This isn't a cheap restaurant nor were we dressed inappropriately, so I asked to be moved. We asked the server to move us, he said he understood and would personally move us to a table that is actually in the restaurant. We ended up at a great table, and taking a few deep breaths we vowed to not let this sour the experience.
And I am glad we did.
We instantly ordered a great bottle of wine and settled back in our chairs with the menu.
First up. Creamy Wild Mushroom Grits with Poached Egg, Charred Serrano Sauce, Cotija Cheese + Blue Corn Tortilla Crisps. OMG.
The egg was BRILLIANT, the cheesey grits were sensational, the crispy chips were a nice contrast to the texture of the creamy grits and cheese. It was so amazing. Honestly, between us, it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my entire life. I could eat that every day just for the sake of eating.
G ordered an amazing starter of Crispy Squash Blossoms with Ricotta, Corn, Sweet + Hot Yellow Pepper Sauce.
It's weird because in the picture, the squash blossoms don't look so crispy, but they totally are. They were wonderful. Really flavourful and crispy.
For our main, we both ordered the same thing: Sixteen Spice Duck Breast with Carrot-Habanero Sauce + Chorizo-Goat Cheese Tamale with Thyme Butter.
It was unbelievably good. The duck was meaty and pleasantly spiced and the chorizo tamale was outrageously fantastic. The cornmeal was really moist and soft and the innards were spicy but not too hot. The sauces add a really nice element.
We shared an almost unbelievable side dish of roasted corn. I could have eaten ten of them, they were so fantastic!!!
It seems silly to say that this corn was sensational because it was just a big thing of corn with some cheese and lime, but MAN ALIVE, it was lick the plate delicious.
We were totally stuffed but had to order dessert anyway.
I was drawn to the churros. It was my bad forray into wheat, but really totally worth it (again, yeah for not being celiac and only wheat intolerant!!!)!!!
G ordered the delicious shortcake. It was so good, G was in heaven!
So, our hats off to Mr. Flay. We didn't want to love it, but we totally did!!! It was amazing food and we had a great time at the restaurant. It was such a special dinner and we were happy to spend G's big birthday together. (Awww.)