Valentine’s Day

I am going to start off my blogging career by describing an interesting Valentine’s Day experience with my fiancée. It started by pregaming the meal with Garrett’s popcorn and ending the night with a fired waiter so you can see why I had to write about it……

Luckily, I got out of work early for once and headed down to surprise my fiancée with her favorite cheddar popcorn from Garretts.

We first tried it on our trip last year to Chicago. The cheddar/caramel mix is one of God’s greatest creations. The mix of butter/cheesy cheddar with the sweet/salty caramel makes it hard to ever put the tin down.

Anyway, I get the popcorn, amongst other V-Day gifts and pretty much eat a whole bag before dinner. Being that it was Ash Wednesday, I was without meat all day and was dying of hunger. I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled brat, but I am totally not conditioned to go three or four meals without meat.

Our reservation for the night was at 8pm at the Shadmoor NYC. It is one of our new favorite spots in Midtown East that originates from Montauk. It is a mainly fish place with the look and feel of a Montauk summer shore restaurant. The food and cocktails are very tasty, and the bathrooms are secret doorways behind bookshelves.

The only downside to the place is the service. Despite being open for about half a year now, it always seems as though something is always slightly amiss. However, the friendly service helps makes up for the small infractions.

We arrive exactly on time and it is completely packed and decorated for the occasion. I am kind of stuck in the middle of the doorway, as there is no place to exactly wait to be seated. An older party of 4 is coming in behind us and pushing me in. At this point, I’m starving and almost ready to make a scene. Luckily, we got seated within a few minutes.

The wait staff was vastly underprepared for this so we waited like 20 minutes just to get drinks and tell our waiter we wanted to do the 5-course prix fixe menu. I ended up with a Montauk Mule to drink, which is basically just a regular Moscow Mule with a different name. It was solid and refreshing, but not as good as one of the ones my buddy in Hoboken makes.

After another 15 minutes of waiting, we get the first part of the meal, which is the chef’s Amuse Bouche. It turned out to be one Oyster Rockefeller. It was a nice medium sized oyster and pretty creamy. Overall, I was happy, but it was such a tease being that it was so small.

After even more waiting, our next course came out. I got shrimp mac n cheese, and my fiancée got prawn tempura. The mac n cheese was breaded lightly and tasty. The shrimp were tiny but gave it a good touch. This dish was pretty good, but the prawn tempura was absolutely amazing. They were huge long prawns that were lightly fried and came with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. There was a ton of meat on each piece, and I was quite satisfied. I was still a bit hungry at this point but no longer upset because the food was satisfying.

Part three was on its way and we ended up talking to the older couple next to us. They jokingly asked the owner walking around if our table would be out of there by midnight. The man joking said, “What happened, did their waiter get fired?” The owner surprisingly replied, “Actually yes.” I was shocked because I have never seen a waiter get fired mid shift as I was at the restaurant. Apparently, he did some “dirty things” so he either stole cash or tampered with food in revenge of complaining customers. Either way, it wasn’t good because they were in no position to lose the help.

Our new waiter gave us our third course, which was called “Fisherman’s Feast.” It was a bowl of jumbo shrimp, raw calamari, and scallops over a bed of baby spinach. The fish was very delicious, but my fiancée and I are not big fans of leafy greens.

After some more waiting and drinking my Montauk Red Ale, our main entrée arrived. I got the Lobster Ravioli, which was very good. The lobster was all cut up so it filled the raviolis perfectly. It was topped with a pink vodka sauce that was nice and creamy but not overly heavy. I also ended up eating half of my fiancée’s whole Sea Bass. That was also a fantastic dish. It was a very tasty fish that fell right off of the bone. The only downside was that it wasn’t fully fileted and there were all these tiny bones throughout. We had to skim the meat off of the top in order to avoid those little suckers and not choke.

Over two hours in, we were ready for dessert. I went with the chocolate truffles because chocolate covered strawberries are too cliché. They were very chocolaty and had crunchy nuts all around them. My fiancée got the chocolate lava cake with a scoop of strawberry ice cream that looked amazing. I avoided it because a lot of chocolate or dairy kills my sinuses, but she loved it.

Overall, we had a great time and enjoyed some very good food. The whole 2.5-hour experience was fun but I was a little bit annoyed at the service. The quality of the food and the effort of the understaffed crew allowed me to overlook what could have been a disaster. Surprisingly, I still give the Shadmoor a 4 out of 5 rating.

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