Valentine's day at The Place

I was taken to "The Place" for Valentine's day as my friend Marcello used to work here and wanted to treat the group of us to it.  "The Place" is one of "those places" you're lucky to know about.  It's quaint and charming and feels like you're escaping from the bustling streets of New York.  When you walk in, it feels like this underground cave lined with exposed brick, low ceilings and stone walls - a very romantic spot.  There's a fireplace in one room, and candles everywhere which sets a wonderful tone of secrecy and intimacy. 
For Valentine's day, they inflated all these foiled heart shaped balloons and they were everywhere.  It reminded me of the scene from the "Sex in the City" movie where Carrie and Miranda are at dinner in a restaurant full of Valentine's day items and balloons everywhere.  And to add to the occasion, the ladies (Wendy and myself) were greeted at our table with a bag of chocolate kisses and teddy bear - how very appropriate for the holiday!  The boys did well - thumbs up on the ambiance and setting the mood.   

It was such a magical night that I only manage to remember bits and pieces of the night so bear with me on this review.  For starters, I ordered the Crispy salmon tartar which resembled a lightly seared raw piece of salmon fillet encased in a deep fried birds nest.  It was a very interesting in terms of texture as it was the slimy rawness vs. the crispiness.  Not bad but would try something different the next time.  Wendy ordered the scallop appetizer- they looked very good and apparently they were delicious!  Pillow-y in texture with a great sauce to complement the saltiness. For my main- I had the baked salmon that was served with asparagus and rice with grapefruit jus.  The citris from the grapefruit was an interesting flavour combination with the salmon and asparagus and it all blended well together.  The boys ordered the hanger steak done around medium rare- they came out juicy and tender and were very good.  Our bellies were quite full but then dessert came out and we all indulged.  The different desserts included poached red wine pears which were flavourful and sweet.  The lavender infused creme caramel was good - and the scent of lavender is subtle but hits you in all the right places.  There was an offering of rasperry sorbet which was exactly what Wendy wanted- just something simple that cleansed her palette as well. 
The night was all i could've wanted .. dinner was delicious and spent it with great company at a new gem in NY!
**** stars

The Place - 310 W 4th St  (between Bank St & 12th St) West Village
(212) 924-2711

Mon-Fri. 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Mon-Fri. 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun. 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun. 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. 

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