Landmarc, multiple visits

Time Warner Center, 3rd Floor

Dubbed as a "contemporary bistro with a twist", I've gone to Landmarc six times to figure out what that twist is (still can't figure it out) and to break up the week's worth of dining destinations in the neighborhood that I work.

Let's get right into it.

Visit #1 - Breakfast
This was the second day the restaurant was open for business. I sat at the bar and was greeted by everyone in the restaurant - as I was the first customer of the day and probably one of the first on record for breakfast. I ordered an egg sandwich with bacon and gruyere and a cup of coffee ($10 or so, coffee was a freebie). The coffee was okay, but they offered me a huge refill for the walk out once my order arrived. Very nice. I brought the sandwich back to my office surprised at the lack of condiments in the bag (no salt, pepper or ketchup) but fortunately made due with leftover stuff in my desk drawer. The sandwich was good. Ample amounts of cheese and a so-so sampling of bacon. It was pretty greasy and I imagine it would be the perfect panacea for a night of heavy drinking, yet I've not had the inkling for a return visit.

Visit #2 - Lunch
I sat at the far end of the circular bar (which would become routine) and ordered the nicoise salad ($18), which Steve Cuozzo wrote was not in fact a nicoise salad at all, because the tuna was seared, not out of a can. I have to agree and did feel slightly cheated. Not just because the tuna was seared (a good thing) but because it wasn't enough tuna. A little skimpy, though the greens and filler (potatos, anchovies, peppers, haricot verts) were decent. Overall though, not worth getting.

Visit #3 - Lunch
Went with two coworkers. I ordered the french onion soup ($8) and the standard grilled chicken caesar salad ($16). Both were simply okay. I've had much better french onion soup (Artisanal, La Bonne Soup, La Petite Auberge, etc.) and have had worse (local pubs, etc.). The chicken caesar was boring. Not completely tasteless, but boring. Add some cranberries at least to jazz it up please. Blah.

Visit #4 - Lunch
Back to my perch at the bar, this time I ordered the croque monsieur ($13). Standard. Good. Perhaps not as good as the one at L'Express, and certainly could be better appreciated at 2 in the morning (which is possible at Landmarc), but good nonetheless. Worth trying again? Maybe one more time after I've gone through the menu.

Visit #5 - Lunch
At this point, I'm only going to Landmarc because I'm tired of going to Bouchon Bakery. I love Bouchon Bakery and anything they serve trumps what you can get at Landmarc. It's a fact. But I don't like to sit under the Samsung sign, so I get my lunches takeout and eat outside or at my desk. And the problem with BB is that they simply don't change their menu enough. I LOVE the nicoise salad sandwich. I LOVE the roast beef sandwich. But I can only have them so many times (countless at this point). Yet I debate each time I come to Landmarc why I choose it over Jean-Georges - and I'm never satisfied with my answers. Yet once again, I ponied up to my spot at the bar, this time ordering the grilled chicken sandwich with roasted red peppers, smoked mozzarella and carmelized onions on ciabatta. It was as pedestrian as it sounds.

Visit #6 - Lunch
I've gone this far into the menu, why not keep going. My spot at the bar is taken by people crunching numbers so I sit in the middle and order what the guy next to me was eating - the grilled skirt steak salad with gorgonzola, watercress, roasted peppers and chimichurri vinaigrette ($21). Lo and behold, this is the first and likely only dish deserving a return visit and recommendation. It was very good. The steak was cooked perfectly and served nice and warm, not chewy and in ample portions. The watercress was crisp and tasty. The gorgonzola was scattered in appropriate density (though I wouldn't mind a little more). The roasted peppers are starting to annoy me here. But this is a good dish. Worth checking out and probably the only dish I've had so far that has a fair value. But still, for a few bucks more I could be eating a three course meal at Jean-Georges, a stone's throw away. Sometimes I guess the casual atmosphere is what we need, and that's why I've been back so many times. But as for that "twist", I'm still waiting to figure out what exactly it is.

Visit #7 - Lunch
I saddled up to the bar once again, this time trying the burger. I ordered it medium rare with gruyere and bacon. It was served just like that, except that the bacon was in the form of lardons and on the side in a ramekin/monkey dish. Whu whu what? How lame is that? You put some lardons on the burger and after one bite they all fall out and onto the plate, bar or worse - your lap. The burger was juicy, salty and beefy and I have no complaints about it but serving the bacon like that is a critical mistake.

Visit #8 - Lunch
Went with about eight people today for a coworkers "last day lunch". Even our boss, a well-known figure, attended. He ordered the burger which arrived per his request as quickly as possible. He ate and ran, which was fine. The rest of us received slipshot service with three of us getting our food in a timely manner. Then the next three people getting their's a few minutes later and then, about eight minutes after that, my colleague finally got her grilled skirt steak salad. Service was ATROCIOUS. True, they took her meal off of the tab, but that was ridiculous. Other servers (I asked for a napkin) were also slow and unconcerned. I got the napkin about 4 minutes later. Terrible.


Anonymous Doug said...

excellent - will this include the new Columbus Circle location?

7:46 PM  
Blogger BADGE said...

Hi Doug, all 5 visits were at the Columbus Circle location.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I agree with you on the fact that Bouchon Bakery's food trumps Landmarc easily and I've been there so many times that I think the employees remembered my face (and my camera?).

Landmarc's food is fine but not stellar.

7:01 PM  

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