#82 The Mark
Steamed Maine halibut $41
First off, this was probably the most promptly delivered dish I’ve ever eaten. Almost immediately after I ordered, my server brought over the freshly prepared fish. A light, healthy, summertime choice, the large filet of mild-flavored white fish that had been delicately steamed. As I ate, it practically melted, small pieces forming tasty little flakes. It was served on a bed of basil and crushed tomatoes. The bountiful sauce, however, was loaded with vinegar and too sharp for my taste. It was peppered with small bread crumbs and suffused with olive oil but it wasn’t enough. Instead of the rich, earthy flavors of olive oil, I was shocked with big hits of vinegar that overpowered the subtle notes of the halibut.
Raspberry-lemon tart $12
While good, this was likely the tiniest serving of tart available in the city. Perhaps five inches long, the diet-sized portion of dessert was an excellent expression of the classic lemon tart. Light lemon cream, tart and sweet, on a crunchy, crumbly buttery base. Crowned with lightly sugared raspberries. A pretty but prissy dessert and extremely expensive, given its size.
Located in the fancy Mark hotel on the Upper East Side, the Mark restaurant caters to a very particular, patrician clientele. Awash with pearl-sporting ladies and jacketed gentlemen, the elegant crowed aren’t here for a culinary journey but simply some reliable in a buzzy setting. It seems that Jean Georges Vongerichten has found a winning recipe, at least in their minds.
To me, the food was full of crisp and clean flavors. Nothing too heavy and certainly no portions too big, especially for a crowd who appear to be watching their weight (and doing a good job of it). However, it’s neither imaginative or exciting. Instead, it feels too fussy, which, admittedly, works for some.
25 E. 77th St.