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

A lot of happiness in life has to do with expectations. Think about it. If you’re lucky enough to have your expectations met or, hey, even exceeded, you’re golden, but if they fall short of reality, that can be a recipe for painful disappointment. Perhaps as a defense mechanism, I try to keep my expectations on the low side rather than be too hopeful, which explains why I went into this move to Brooklyn with a pretty realistic attitude. I knew we were taking two separate apartments (and lives for that matter) and merging them into one, and I figured the packing and unpacking and moving and all would be a challenge (read: hell). But now that I’m through it, you know what, it really wasn’t all that bad.

The worst of it was a rental truck from U-Haul that pretty much was ready to self-destruct five blocks from the U-Haul site and a difficult manager who kept us there for an hour while we tried to get a new truck. But three days later, I’m sitting in my sunny kitchen in Brooklyn and I can actually see the floor and we recently excavated our couch from under a mountain of boxes! All in all, we’re making excellent progress on the unpacking and everything’s actually been pretty smoothly between Craig and me, too. No major brawls. Apparently Craig’s friend Jim gave him this sage piece of advice before moving: “No jury will ever convict a man for murdering his fiancé on moving day.” Good to know his expectations were managed as well.

Likewise, I also had pretty managed (read: low) expectations about dining at Olana, a new restaurant in the lower-Madison Avenue neighborhood of A Voce and Country. The restaurant is named for the home of American artist Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), a National Landmark located in the Hudson Valley. As an ode to Church’s work, the restaurant also serves as an art gallery showcasing Church’s bucolic paintings of the Hudson River landscape. Which all sounded nice and all, but I had never heard of the chef, Al Di Meglio, who apparently most recently was the chef at Osteria Del Circo. His menu channels some of that Italian cooking—chestnut crespelle with ricotta, mushrooms, pine nuts and sage brown butter sauce ($15/$23), risotto with sea urchin, king crab, black truffle and truffle cream ($17/$23)—but also offers up more American cookery with entrees for two like a 38-oz. dry-aged Cote de Boeuf with crispy onions, semolina and ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Flatiron :
+ Suenos   + Amuse-- Closed   + Dos Caminos   + Lucy-- Closed   + Gramercy Taver   + Veritas   + Fleur De Sel   + Bolo -- CLosed   + City Bakery   + Shake Shack   + Kalustyan's Cafe   + Devi   + BLT Fish   + Sugarcane   + BLT Prime   + Barca 18-- CLOSED   + Beppe   + Barbounia   + Boqueria   + Eleven Madison   + Lonesome Dove-- CLOSED   + Hill Country   + Olana   + Wildwood   + Primehouse   + Allegretti   + Bar Breton   + Aldea   + SD26 by Bao Ong   + ABC Kitchen   + Ciano   + The NoMad   

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