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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American Soho Moderate Good

artic char ($17/$25) was also a textural revelation—warm, glossy and soft—the right counter point for a side of pickled lime spaetzle that’s fried up and crisped so it tastes almost like spaetzle French fries. (Again: bar menu, please.) The only negative point on this dish was an opaque gloss of passion fruit on the fish, which was too sweet.

The peekytoe crab ($17) arrived looking a bit like eggs benedict. Mason plates three little hills of fresh crab salad seasoned with basil over pineapple and tops each mound with a white fluff of Thai basil foam that from a distance resembles the whites of poached eggs. To bring some texture and salt to the dish, Mason adds a dried chip of Serrano ham. It’s meaty and crisp, and the right accessory.

The only disappointment on the menu was the chorizo-cured kampachi with sweet potato cream and potato granola ($15). This dish appealed to me in theory, but not in practice. The kampachi is sliced too thick, so the pieces feel heavy and clumsy, and the fish is served room temperature, which is really too warm. What’s more the flavor profile is flat. There’s no brightness to it, no acidity at all, and the chorizo acts almost like a muffler, suffocating the flavor the fish completely.

Dessert, the touchstone of Mason’s career until now, is equal to his savory menu in thrills. There are seven choices, from sassafras cake with smoked vanilla ice cream and preserved plum ($12), to manchego cheesecake with concord grape sorbet ($12), and I’d have liked to try them all, but my limited belly room only allowed for two (and even that was a stretch.) Steven took a look at the menu and made his choice with ease. “I think the world is a better place because of mustard,” he said, “so it really does not get any better than mustard ice cream.” He was referring to a rum raisin-caramelized banana with mustard ice cream and brown butter cake. I was having a hard time deciding, but finally made up my mind when I heard the description of the French Toast: pan-fried homemade brioche with brown butter ice cream and raisin puree. Done. When the French Toast arrived—fashioned into a golden rectangular stick—a warm wave of nutty browned butter took me to Sunday morning. This dessert combines Mason’s affection for simplicity with his passion for creativity: snuggled up next to the stick of French Toast you’ll find a littl ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Soho :
+ Balthazar   + Savoy   + Blue Ribbon   + Lupa   + Public   + Kittichai   + Lure Fishbar   + Barmarche   + Porcupine-- CLOSED   + Ama   + La Esquina   + Jerry's- Closed Now   + The Tasting Room   + Papatzul   + Shorty's.32   + The Monday Room   + Ed's Lobster Bar   + Aurora   + Provence   + Tailor   + Hundred Acres   + Delicatessen, By Guest Reviewer Julie Besonen   + The Mott   + The Dutch   + Cherrywood, by Guest Reviewer Dara Pollak   

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