306 E 49th St (1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 644-8294
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Cuisine: New American
Area: East 40s
The good times will soon be rolling in New Orleans, with Mardi Gras just a few weeks away. But if a trip to the Big Easy simply isn’t in your budget, you can enjoy some of the tastes and atmosphere of that decadent Southern city at Masq, a charming eatery in the midst of Midtown East.
You can begin your evening in this festively decorated multi-room space in the bar/lounge area by sampling one of the house’s many New Orleans-inspired cocktails, including the Mint Julep, Sazerac and the Hurricane, or one of the numerous other libations available for your drinking pleasure.
Then, move on to one of the dining areas, where a panoply of delicious dishes await. A great starter for the table is the addictive flatbread topped with a perfectly proportioned combination of prosciutto, figs, goat cheese, arugula and shaved pecorino. Equally appealing options include a plate of many cured meats and cheese that are delightful nibbling.
Odds are, however, you won’t be willing to even spare one bite of the fantastic mac-and-cheese croquettes, coated in panko bread crumbs. They’re simply scrumptious. (If you don’t tell my cardiologist I had one, I won’t tell yours!)
Seafood fanciers will find Masq particularly to their liking, thanks in large part to the superb Maryland crab cakes, which have next-to-no breading and plenty of yummy crab, as well as the very fine fried shrimp po’boy sandwiches that can rival any found in Louisiana.
And if you’re seeking something to spice up your taste buds, head straight for the authentic jambalaya, which gets quite a kick from a generous portion of Andouille sausage, joined by shrimp, Cajun chicken, and well-cooked rice.
By the way, if you still don’t have New Year’s Eve plans, the restaurant is hosting a special “MASQuerade” that promises to be a fun-filled way to ring in 2014!
Review By: Brian Scott Lipton