North End Grill (Battery Park)
After my visit to Parked in the early afternoon on Saturday, I met up with Michelle at North End Grill for dinner. Michelle had scored 8:15 reservations. The restaurant is elegant, more upscale than casual. I had figured as much – otherwise I would have gone to Parked an hour or so before dinner and walked over to North End Grill in my shorts, tank top and Converse sneakers. Fortunately, I cleaned up in between.
I had read many great reviews about North End Grill so my expectations were high. The food lived up to my expectations, but the service fell short.
It’s rather surprising that the service wasn’t outstanding because we had a number of people tending to us. And still everything took a little longer than expected. And there were a couple of missteps that you just wouldn’t expect from this caliber of an establishment. We ordered a lovely bottle of white wine – a Pinot Noir blend. It was served chilled, but then our server placed the bottle on the table instead of automatically chilling it in a bucket of ice as we eventually requested. Maybe it’s because she knew there would be a delay in refills. And when the food was being cleared, Michelle asked that the remainder of her rabbit be packaged to go. The gentleman clearing our table acknowledged her request and yet placed my cutlery on her plate. Michelle and I are very good friends so the shared dinnerware was not a problem for us, but North End Grill is too sophisticated a restaurant for the patrons to have to worry about the basics.
With that out of the way, let’s focus on the food which was creative and delicious. Michelle and I both ordered the Chilled Cucumber Soup with Fresh Heart of Palm and Cherry Tomatoes as our appetizer. The soup – which is thicker than I expected – is full of fresh, bright flavors. A perfect starter on a hot night.
For my main course, I ordered the Twice Cooked Suckling Pig with Summer Squash. The presentation is gorgeous, the meat melts in your mouth, and as you can see from the photo below, there is a lot more than squash on the plate to cut through the richness of the suckling pig. It’s a hearty dish full of flavor and texture.
I had a bite of Michelle’s Grilled Rabbit with Roasted Turnips and Mustard Greens. That’s also delicious. I may order that next time.
As a side, we ordered the Charcoal Grilled Baby Carrots. They are as tasty as they are adorable, mixing sweet and smokey together in the best kind of way.
Unfortunately, we were too full to try a dessert, but I’m sure we’ll be back. The restaurant is still fairly new so that may explain some of the service kinks. Once these are ironed out, North End Grill will wow clients with a remarkable dining experience on all fronts.Tweet