Ah, New York. The place where you can find any type of cuisine, some good, some bad. The W Hotel in lower Manhattan sits in the shadow of the new World Trade Center tower and is home of a great place to dine- the BLT Bar and Grill.
BLT is a collection of restaurants started by celebrity Chef Laurent Tourondel who started with a place he called BLT for Bistro Laurent Tourondel. He has since opened a string of BLT restaurants such as BLT Fish and BLT Steak in New York City. However, he left the BLT group to pursue other projects, but some places have kept the BLT name.
At the W Hotel, the BLT Bar and Grill sits on the first floor below the hotel and has two floors of dining along with a large full service bar. After a day of shopping and exploring lower Manhattan, Mom and I were hungry on a cold day and decided to duck into the Grill for lunch.
Filled with both tourists and locals who work in New York’s Financial District, the place seems pretty popular.
We both opted for a nice salad. My Mom ordered the Chopped Vegetable Salad with a Creamy Oregano-Mustard Dressing. It was a large salad filled with mixed greens, radishes, red and yellow tomatoes, avocado and large chunks of feta cheese. The dressing was perfect – adding just a little bit of spiciness to the already flavorful fresh veggies. She loved it.
I opted for the Crispy Goat Cheese Salad. On the menu the description stated that the salad had “speck”, “mache” and “frisee” and I had NO idea what any of that was but the crispy goat cheese sure sounded delicious. What I learned was that “Mache” and “Frisee” are both types of fancy lettuce- the mache being lamb lettuce and the frisee being a type of endive. “Speck” is a cured smoked Italian meat- the meat being pork. Oops. Maybe I should have asked if there was meat in this dish- but oh well- too late now. And actually, the speck was needed for that extra flavor that made the salad delicious. The crispy goat cheese was unbelievable too. Large fried chucks of cheese (I didn’t even know you could fry goat cheese) spotted the fancy lettuce and was topped with a light herb vinaigrette. What flavors this salad had with so few ingredients!
I had also spotted roasted brussel sprouts on the menu with mint yogurt, beets and walnuts. I think roasted brussel sprouts may be one of my favorite foods in the world so of course I had to try this gourmet version. The mint yogurt was very subtle in taming the sourness of the brussel sprouts and the beets and walnuts add both sweetness and crunch. This side dish was so good that I have since gone home and tried to replicate it, with some success.
We had a great lunch. The restaurant is casual, open and airy. Huge windows line the building for views overlooking the 9/11 Memorial. This is a place I would add to my must do list in New York City.