One of my oldest and dearest friends was in town from LA visiting his boyfriend who had just started working at Almond so we got the full VIP treatment. I loved the feel of the restaurant, it’s very warm and charming in a rustic way, and they have outdoor seating which we got to enjoy on a lovely summer evening. Our server Luis was awesome (and I’m being by no means biased in this assertion I swear!), he was very knowledgeable and descriptive when explaining and recommending the items on the menu.
I couldn’t decide what drink to get and Luis recommended the Fizzy Lizzy which was the perfect summer cocktail – it was light rum with fresh strawberries, grapefruit juice and lime. As we perused the menu, there were so many appetizers we wanted to try, and we just couldn’t decide so again Luis stepped in and recommended “Los Tres” (which means “the three” in Spanish) which was a platter featuring Scallop & Fennel Crudo, Marinated Squid, and Curried Mussel Cocktail.
Hands down our favorite was the Scallop & Fennel, it was another perfect summer item, refreshingly tart with the lemon and the tender scallop and was a great pairing with the crunchy fennel. The marinated squid was good, but fell a little short in the flavor department. The mussels were probably our least favorite, again it seemed to be lacking in flavor, I really didn’t taste the curry at all.
I had checked out the menu before coming and had decided on “Le Grand” Macaroni & Cheese with prosciutto and chopped truffles – pasta, prosciutto, and truffles all in one dish? I think I’ve died and gone to heaven! The dish did not disappoint, it came out piping hot out of the oven and had a lovely baked cheese crust on the outside and was creamy and gooey on the inside. This was certainly not a light dish and probably a heart attack waiting to happen, but once in a while you have to splurge right?!
My friend went for a much healthier option (although he did help me out with the mac & cheese), Day Boat Scallops & Smoked Duck Breast with corn ragout, five onions, and sauce “espagnole”. I thought this was a very interesting combination and enjoyed a bite myself, but I was too enthralled with my mac & cheese ;).
For dessert we indulged in the Sticky Toffee Date Cake with creme fraiche ice cream, which was my friend’s pick, and it was a sweet sensation! This would not have been my typical choice (as I tend to gravitate towards all things chocolate), but I’m glad we did. The cake was warm and moist and teeming with butterscotch flavors. We practically licked the plate clean!
Over all I thought Almond was a great restaurant for catching up with a friend and I definitely see it as a cozy romantic night out, the menu is quite varied, and the service is great (definitely ask for Luis)!
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Almond | www.almondnyc.com | 12 E. 22nd Street