Monday, July 23, 2007

Lunch at Landmarc

Hungry after the drive from Philly to New York on Saturday, and having some time to kill in Tribeca while waiting for our knives, we wandered around the neighborhood in search of a suitable spot for lunch. We settled on Landmarc, an inviting spot nestled below a construction site just south of Leonard on West Broadway. We opted for seats in the quiet upstairs dining room, with a view -- over the rebar balcony -- of the street and opposing buildings. The rebar continues a theme, started at the sidewalk café and running up the stairwell to the second floor, which provides a simple expression of the casual, contemporary/industrial aesthetic of the space.

A quick perusal of the wine list yielded an old sentimental favorite, the Côtes de Provence Rosé of Domaine Sorin. Luc and Sergine Sorin, along with their daughter Audrey, are good souls who turn out an unpredictable array of wines from their small estate in St.-Cyr-sur-Mer, one of the districts of the Bandol AOC. Their rosé “Terra Amata,” one of many half-bottles on Landmarc’s list, provided a simple pleasure, uninspiring yet quaffable and well matched to the straightforward lunch to come.

When our first course arrived, we realized in quick retrospect that it probably would have been enough, supplemented by a basket of bread, for lunch for two. The large order of mussels with fries suffered from the common fate of being served in too deep a crock, separating the mussels from the flavorful sauce below. Nonetheless, they were well cooked, tender and pleasingly accented by wilted ringlets of shallots and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. The fries were meaty, golden brown, blazing hot and not at all greasy.

As our appetites had gotten the better of us when ordering, we soldiered on through a second course. My eggplant and tomato tartine again could have stood alone as a full meal. Served atop a slice of grilled bread, the tender eggplant and roasted tomatoes were satisfying if a bit overwhelmed by their topping of crumbled goat cheese. The side salad was a tad over salted but dressed with tasty sherry vinaigrette.

Go with a big appetite and Landmarc provides a solid, moderately priced menu with a comfortably mid-scale, neighborhood vibe. The wine list could use some work, as could the portion control, but I left sated and ready for the day to come.

Landmarc (Tribeca)
179 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Landmarc in New York

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