Dinner at Legasea

Last night I finally got back to a place that I haven’t been in almost a year.  Legasea did not disappoint the first time, so I’ve been anticipating another crack at their menu.  The place is pretty cool, located inside the Moxy Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.  The dining room and adjacent bar have a sort of sophisticated, trendy, nautical feel, which makes sense given the name.  Bright lights exude a more casual vibe, and a very inviting one at that.  Alright enough of that, onto the goods.

The bread was excellent.  We started with complimentary warm, buttered rolls and their much appreciated accoutrement in the form of herb butter, sweet pickles, and vinegary coleslaw.  I’m not a slaw guy, but I want to be.  I consistently try it in hopes that my taste buds will, for once, agree with coleslaw.  They never do, and yesterday was no different.  Nonetheless, it was a nice touch as were the pickles and the butter which quickly soaked into the respective rolls.  Great start.  Side note: there’s no excuse for restaurants giving out subpar bread; I hate that shit.

Starters
We went with the Crispy Long Island Calamari over the Tuna Tartare.  I’m a sucker for a good tartare, so this was a particularly difficult decision.  There were no regrets because the gah-la-mad was excellent.  Battered, lightly fried, golden brown, crispy, tender.  And to sweeten the deal even more, there were fried zucchini strips mixed in with the squid.  LOVE THAT.  That’s like getting celery and carrot sticks with buffalo wings.  The spicy marinara sauce hit the mark too.  *chefs kiss*

As recommended by our waiter, we also elected the “signature” Spicy Crab Beignets.  Yep, you read that right.  Mini beignets, sliced in half, stuffed with crab meat, crispy potato chips, and a chipotle creme fraiche.  And they wouldn’t be beignets if they weren’t finished by a powdered sugar dusting, obviously.  The only real knock is the size.  Granted, it’s not a super expensive dish, but I could make the argument that it should be more than a bite-sized treat.  With that being said, they’re very good.  I wouldn’t choose this if I were only ordering one (1) appetizer, but if you’re with a group, this is a no brainer.  They look freaking adorable too.

Main Course
My friend elected for the Flounder Française.  Honestly, you can grab my attention with almost Anything Française.  There’s something about that buttery lemony combo that gets me going.  I’m admittedly not well versed when it comes to fish despite my love for shellfish.  Maybe it was the flounder, maybe it was the preparation of said flounder, but I was very satisfied with this dish.  The cook on the fish gave a slight crisp that quickly folded and melted into the lemon caper butter.  I’m looking forward to giving Flounder a fairer shake from here on out.  The spinach was somewhat bland, but a nice offset to acidic flavors I suppose.

I went with the Seafood Marinara Pasta.  This was sold to me by the waiter, once again, who highlighted the squid ink pasta made in-house.  I debated for quite a while between this and the burger which someone nearby ordered (it looked awesome).  Seafood spots typically have great burgers, but our guy Josh made the pasta sound so damn enticing.  Black squid ink shells, lobster, shrimp, scallop (and I think some squid too?), with a spicy cherry tomato sauce.  I got full rather quickly (see: bread, beignets, calamari), so I ended up taking some home, but there aren’t many complaints about this dish.  Not enough lobster I guess?  What else is new.  I hereby endorse this dish.

Oh yeah, we also got Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Gremolata.  *big chef’s kiss*

Dessert
Double Layer Cheesecake with speculoos crust, figs, and blueberry compote.  Personally, I like my cheesecake simple.  When you start adding in chocolates, nuts, and even fruits sometimes, I feel like it’s tinkering with something that’s already delicious.  This leaned towards the simple side, so I was pleased.  The crust and middle layer added some spicy to the delicate cheesecake, and I can’t think of any instance where I’ve scoffed at a blueberry compote.  Somehow I mustered a few bites before throwing in the towel.  ‘Twas a phenomenal way to cap off a meal that delivered on many levels.

As if a strong meal weren’t enough, the service was outstanding.  Our waiter, proactively mind you, made some great and detailed recommendations.  But it was more than the “this is a popular dish” spiel we’re so often force-fed.  Josh gave personal insight and opinions, something I always notice and appreciate.  Although he did tell us to enjoy our show, twice, despite telling him that we were in fact not going to see a show.  Whatever.

A big thank you is in order to Josh and the rest of the Staff who really went above and beyond last night.  Legasea, I will be back!

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