Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dinner in NYC without leaving the South

The other night Stacey and I had dinner in NYC and never left Atlanta. We joined some friends for an early evening of music and then started looking for a place to eat. Chef had told me of a new place in midtown and we were in the area so let’s try it.

Top FLR is located in an elevator shaft with a kitchen the size of a walk in closet. I am constantly amazed at the food that can come out of a place this size. It is not unusual to find a place like this in NYC, they’re a dime a dozen. And for some reason most of the time they are really good. I don’t know if it’s because of the size and that allows for the chefs to focus on each dish more than usual or maybe, and this is what I like to think, but maybe it’s small because of the start up budget, that this is all they could afford. What I’m trying to say is, that a group or a chef or whoever, opened such a tiny space and made it work, it is a mark of their passion for the restaurant business.

Top Flr is tiny but has it all, a nice size bar, with three 2 toppers on the ground floor. To get to the restroom one must walk between the bar and the kitchen. The kitchen looks to be about 15′ square. The dining room is upstairs which we never made it to because we had no reservation. It’s Saturday night about nine o’clock, the three small tables in the front window have a couple sitting at the middle table. So we start moving tables and chairs, sit down and realize we are blocking the waitrons path from the kitchen to the rest of the restaurant. The four of us kinda act like we don’t know what to do, which was easy for us. Finally the couple said they would move to one side and lets us sit together. He wasn’t real pleased at first, she was cool. We bought him a glass of wine and he chilled out. We even got to talking to them, she was from NYC so I ask her write down some of her favorite restaurants in the city. Which she did, which was nice of her.

Anyway we settled in, ordered and watched people come in the front door, go up the stairs and come right back down and leave. The place was full and no one was going anywhere fast. There was a really nice pace about the place and the meal.

So the food? It’s real good, it’s not to expensive and it’s fresh. Free form ravioli was prepared with shrimp that night, corn and other vegetables were added. Stacey had a pizza I can’t remember the details, but it was very good. I remember there was mac and cheese and it was baked and it was good. Someone had a hanger steak that I had a bite of, perfect, I will order that next time.

They are open really late, 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. weekends, that’s so NYC ya know. That’s about as much as I can remember, I wasn’t driving so………….

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