Monday, August 29, 2005

Bolo - New York, NY

This past weekend, my friend War and I celebrated his birthday by checking out Iron Chef Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Bolo. Bolo is a modern contemporary Spanish restaurant located in the Flatiron district of New York City. After eating at Mesa Grill and watching numerous episodes of Iron Chef America, I wanted to see if Flay’s Spanish cuisine reigns supreme.

We began our meal by ordering four dishes of tapas:

- Raw tuna, cucumber, mint salad

- Lamb tenderloin with arugula and oven dried tomatoes

- Spanish tortilla with green romesco

- Spanish rice cake w/ shrimp

Prior to making our order, the server mentioned the tapas come in bite size pieces. After a few minutes, our tapas arrived. Although the server warned us, I was a little surprised with the size of the portions. The tuna was cut as thin as paper, the lamb was barely larger than a kernel of popcorn, and the tortilla and Spanish rice cake weren’t much bigger.

For our entrée, War and I both ordered the shellfish and chicken paella with saffron rice, chorizo and green peas. After our not so satisfying appetizer plate, I was a bit concerned about the portion size of our entrée. That was quickly put to rest once they served the paella. It was huge. The paella was served with a lobster tail, crab claw, shrimp, scallops, and chicken. The paella was very flavorful and very good.

I think War and I could have stopped after the paella, but I felt like trying at least one of the interesting items on their dessert menu. A unique aspect of Bolo’s dessert menu are their dessert tapas. War decided on the soft chocolate cake with passionfruit curd and caramelized bananas, mascarpone crepe gratin with grapefruit, and whipped caramel ganache with cocoa nib lace cookie. I was turned off by our tapas appetizer, so I decided to order a full size dessert. My selection was a frozen dark chocolate mousse with shattered caramel and citrus milk chocolate sauce. I didn’t try all of War’s desserts, but I did have a taste of his whipped caramel ganache. The ganache had small speckles of salt laying on top. Typically, a ganache is extremely rich and sweet, but War’s selection had an interesting contrast of sweet and salty. The contrast was a bit too strong for our palettes. My frozen dark chocolate mousse was very rich, and was an excellent selection along with my cappuccino.

All in all, I thought it was a good meal. I do prefer Mario Batali’s restaurants over Flay’s, but he does offer a little bit of a different niche in fine dining. My next Food Network restaurant stop will have to be at Morimoto, but that will have to wait until I can make a trip down to Philadelphia.


At 10:07 AM, Anonymous War said...

That paella kicked both of our butts. We ate and ate and ate... and barely put a dent in that thing.

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