Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ahead of the Curve

Image of asparagus with fried farm egg courtesy of The New York Times.

Mado was just reviewed in The New York Times! I'm officially ahead of the curve.

After enjoying one of the best meals of my life at Mado with my supper club in March, I took F for dinner last month, and he finally understood what I had been raving about. He has been talking about his hanger steak ever since, and chose to celebrate his 30th birthday there last night.

Our good friends and fellow
Top Chef devotees joined us for dinner. A group of talented cooks and shrewd epicures, they were smitten with the buttery pate, somehow spicy and reminiscent of Christmas; the asparagus with fried farm egg; the crisp trout that tasted like camp fire; the Gorgonzola polenta; the wood-smoked chicken that fell off the bone—the list goes on and on. We each ordered a different dish, and tried them all.

Our friend J, especially, knows food. He sends me articles about how to make homemade pasta sauce and what to do with ramps. He bakes the best scones I've ever tasted and knows everything about kitchen knives. As our waiter cleared the last plate from our table, J asked, "Can I work here?" Our genial waiter (who, in answer to our questions about the menu, earnestly mapped the cuts of pork on his own body) took J's question in jest.

But J was absolutely serious about donning an apron and heading back to the kitchen. And in that moment, I knew the dinner was a success.

In her extremely positive review, Monica Davey of The New York Times captures the mood of Mado perfectly: "On a cold, rainy spring evening, Mado offered escape without effort, the smell of a wood grill... a momentary journey to some quiet farm while still sitting in the city’s chaos."

After my third visit to Mado, I can safely say it's my favorite restaurant. I can't wait to go back.

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