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Strata

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Strata


Address: 915 Broadway
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10010
Phone: 212-505-2192
Map: Map
Cuisine: American
Area: Flatiron District
Entree Price: $15-20
Takeout: No
Delivery: No
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard

Summary:

The hip, modern Strata is the newest addition to the Flatiron District featuring a cafeteria-inspired menu with sophisticated New York twist from Chef Michael Kaphan.

Review:

In one of those unusually quick New York transitions, Metronome – the well-known jazz/club restaurant – became Strata last month. The owners changed the décor but kept the room's lounge-like feel (which allows them to use the enormous space for private parties). In doing so, however, they may be misleading food lovers, who don't immediately realize that chef Michael Kaphan is turning out first-rate American cuisine, at relatively modest prices. There's also a well-chosen, well-priced wine list, where basically everything is available the glass, so you can do a lot of sampling during your meal. If you want a light start, consider a trio of deviled eggs – each boasting a different but equally delectable filling (chipotle, red pepper or paprika) – or a truly innovative (and delectable) salad of Fuji apple, fennel, sorrel, goat cheese and almonds. Somewhat heartier are the tasty crab and corn fritters served over a corn and pea leaf salad, or a small bowl of homemade chili, gently spiced, chock full of chunks Angus beef and cranberry beans, accompanied by two slices of cheddar-and-chive cornbread. Or try Kaphan's unusual take on the Caesar Salad, which consists of an entire head of romaine lettuce wrapped in pancetta and then grilled. The Caesar is technically not an appetizer; it comes from the menu's Happy Mediums section, which also features a variety of sandwiches. It's also the home of Strata's best dish, a healthy portion of addictive mac-and-cheese, made with fontina and generously dotted with truffles and porcini mushrooms. Kraft, eat your heart out! Entrees here also run the gamut from a pleasing pasta primavera, which uses ingredients from the nearby Union Square Market, to authentic, nicely greaseless fish and chips --- Kaphan uses Chatham cod -- to a plate of perfectly seared ahi tuna slices accompanied by a tangy tangle of kombu noodles and seaweed. Desserts are a must-have, so order your other courses accordingly. If you want something cool, the pineapple ginger float – essentially a tall glass with pineapple sorbet and Reeds Extra Ginger Brew – is the ultimate summer refreshment. (And so easy I may even make it at home!). A trio of mini ice-cream sandwiches, each made with a different cookie and ice cream flavor, also hits the spot. (I voted for the plain chocolate chip with Tahitian vanilla, but the chocolate macadamia chunk with fresh mint ice cream was a tablemate's favorite). Speaking of chocolate, the Valhrona chocolate flan is good as well, although I was a bit more taken with the white chocolate bread pudding made with brioche. Vive La France…and Viva Strata!

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton


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