Restaurant Week is one of my favorite things in New York City. T and I made reservation the moment it launched for River Park, a restaurant he’d been really wanting to try and one I’d been wanting to return to. I also was at the point of receiving a $100 check from OpenTable for having made so many reservations. The stars were aligning for a pre-baby nice date night out! Except that River Park’s listing was subsequently updated to note lunch only for Restaurant Week, and OpenTable updated their rewards program to only apply to a limited subset of restaurants. Such a bummer all around. Since our dinner was that night we had to figure out an alternative option pretty quickly. I read some great things online about Virginia’s, so we decided to give it a try.
It was one of those extra hot NYC August night’s the day we headed over for dinner. I always make it a point to go somewhere, ideally somewhere new, for Restaurant Week
To start, we both had the barbecue shrimp, which was prepared with corn, pickled mustard seed and peaches. I really liked the idea of this dish. I was expecting some char on the shrimp and the corn and peaches sounded like they would be such a great yet unique addition. I have to say we were disappointed. The shrimp were not barbecued at all, and the flavors were a bit bland on this starter. It was however a cool, light start for a hot day, which was nice.
For my main course, I had the Maine hake, pole beans, farro, and charred lemon. T had the roast chicken with summer squash, basil and Marcona almonds. Similar to the shrimp appetizer, this was a very light main course. The lemon added a nice touch of flavor, but kept the overall flavor on the light side. The rest of the components did’t help to dimensionalize the dish, leaving it on the blander side.
For dessert, I had the s’mores with dark chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow. T had the other option – a market fruit crisp with oats and bourbon ice cream. The s’mores was a nice finale. The marshmallow was a bit too charred, but the dish was nice and balanced. I also approved of the smaller size, which kept it from being too rich.
Not our favorite Restaurant Week meal, but still was nice to have an excuse to have a night out in the East Village!
Virginia’s – 647 E 11th Street (at Avenue C) – 212.658.0182