The NoMad: Hip, Romantic, Delicious

The NoMad, romantic or brothel kitsch? Maybe both.

Romantic or brothel kitsch? Maybe both.

For our annual jaunt to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, we are always looking for good dinner options that are close to Madison Square Garden, preferably walking distance – it’s harder than it sounds. This year, we happened on The NoMad, located in the hotel of the same name.

At the unfashionable hour of 6 pm, we were among the only people at The NoMad. Even so, it was clear the place would soon be packed – we made our reservation weeks go, and only super early slots were available. Which was fine with us, since we had to get to MSG for an 8 pm show.

We were seated in a dimly lit parlor of sorts, next to a beautiful fireplace, and our corner table was cozy and romantic. G ordered a bourbon drink from the bar – something with bitters and citrus, that tasted like an adult’s version of a whiskey sour. I tried a “winter rose” from upstate New York, which was good, although I’ll probably stick to rose when the weather’s warmer in the future.

Our server gave an overly complicated explanation of the difference between the snacks and the appetizers. After nodding as if we understood a word of the distinction, we ordered one of each: the tuna tartare, which was served on “tuna bones” and the fluke ….

roasted chicken two ways - perfectly roasted breast and dark meat with bread crumbs and a (light-ish) cream sauce

perfectly roasted chicken

We were undecided on entrees. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with restaurant roasted chicken, and when told that this was NoMad’s special, we ended up opting for the roasted chicken for two. A while later, a server very ceremoniously brought out a cast iron pan with a beautiful, brown, whole roasted chicken overflowing with sprigs of flowering rosemary stuffed into the cavity. When the chicken came back after the carving, two perfectly roasted chicken breasts had been plated for us. The dark meat had been carved up and tossed in a light cream-based sauce with crispy breadcrumbs. The presentation was lovely, and serving the white and dark meat separately showed off each at its best. An excellent recommendation. And after looking around the slowly filling room, we saw that seemed to be what every other table was opting for, so clearly a popular choice as well.

The wine with dinner, though, was tough. Oh the wine list was terrific, but it was also incredibly expensive. I struggled to find anything under $100. This, I find unconscionable in DC (see: Proof wine list) and merely annoying in NYC … But the solution was at hand: a Cote du Rhone (for $85), which matched the earthiness of the chicken, and evened out the rich flavors of the dark meat and sauce. So, success.

For dessert, we tried the lemon tart, which came in an unexpected, although attractive presentation – a great ending to a great dinner.

Cheesecake

lemon tart (I know, it looks like baked brie)

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