Cheecake at Birdbath & Lunch at Fiamma

Notes: In case you haven’t noticed, I’m approximately a week behind what I should be blogging about. Somehow after finishing school, I’m becoming a lazy bum, just procrastinating the inevitable task of writing a post. Anyways, this is a post that’s taken place last Tuesday. If you want to jump to the review of my lunch at Fiamma, click here.

Somehow, I went backwards that I started my afternoon with dessert. A decadent, dense one in fact: a chocolate cheesecake at Birdbath.

Birdbath's wall of cookies Birdbath’s pastries and COOKIES!

Chocolate Cheesecake with their
Chocolate Cheesecake with their “green” surroundings on the table

The cheesecake, as mentioned, dense, creamy with hint of chocolate flavor, despite the fact the entire thing was made of a chocolate. It’s very filling for it’s small size. I was a bit worried that I won’t be able to stomach a lunch at Fiamma. So what I ended up doing was walking around SoHo for an hour, to burn a few calories and get a bit hungrier. Then I walked over to Spring Street to Fiamma.

Chocolate Cheesecake texture/innards Chocolate Cheesecake texture shot

Lunch at Fiamma

I arrived to Fiamma around 1:30, I requested a table for myself. The maitre d’ told me that they don’t have any more tables but I can get a chair at the bar. Since the second floor was opened for lunch service, I walked up the stairs and to the bar. The room was packed with people, but not as hectic as Balthazar, and a lot less tourists here – most of them being the local businessmen and women.

Interior Interior of Fiamma

As I perused their lunch menu, I was kind of hoping to see a dish or two that Frank Bruni praised in his review but alas, I didn’t see any. So, I ended up sticking with their prix fixe menu.

Green olive bread Green olive bread

Goat's milk butter with sea salt
Goat’s milk butter with sea salt

The bread choices were basically the green olive, that you see above, or a country white bread. The olive bread is different than most restaurants’ olive bread since this one has meaty olives that doesn’t taste as briny and sharp as other places do. The goat’s milk butter is also an unusual yet pleasant touch since it does have a slight tangy flavor and the addition of the sea salt on top gave an extra punch of saltiness.

Goat's milk ricotta with tempura-ed blossom
The Amuse

What I haven’t expected was the amuse: goat’s milk ricotta with a tempura-ed blossom (I don’t remember what kind). The ricotta was tangy and velvety. The delicate crunch from the tempera-ed blossom made it a nice foil to the soft, creamy textures of the ricotta. It’s a nice start and it seems like the Chef Trabocchi has an affinity toward goat’s milk.

Pouring in the
Pouring in the “brodo” into the L’Uovo Alla Pavese

L'Uovo Alla Pavese (after the pour)
L’Uovo Alla Pavese (after the pour)

The appetizer I chose of the two choices, was the l’uovo alla pavese. To tell you honestly, I don’t know what’s Pavian about this dish. It’s basically a slice of grilled country bread, topped with a layer of rich, sweet-acidic tomato sauce (that’s the sugo finto), a poached egg perched on top with small chunks of pecorino romano cheese strewn around. The extra touch was the “brodo” (or broth). It tastes good, except I wish the egg was a bit more yolk-y. To me, it’s like a brunch menu item with an Italian accent.

Innards of L'Uovo
Innards…not oozy enough

Cocktail or not?
Non-alcoholic cocktail

For some reason, I wanted something to drink but non-alcoholic. Since I was sitting at the bar, I ended up asking the bartender to make a drink that wasn’t alcoholic but I have no idea what. He told me, “I’ll think up of something.” What he ended up was making this citrus cocktail. It’s made of freshly squeezed blood oranges, orange juice, a splash of sparkling water, shaken with ice, and topped with a lemon twist. It works with my meal, since it has the tartness of the blood oranges and it isn’t very sweet like I’m drinking straight up juice.

Cocktail or not?
Close up

Entire view of the Il Pulcino
Il Pulcino

Then came my entrée, the Il Pulcino. What makes this chicken dish a bit decadent was the small slab of foie gras, which obviously made it richer. The chicken was cooked perfectly – which isn’t always an easy task whenever I order it in restaurants – the chicken meat is moist, tender, and silky. The balsamic vinegar is a nice touch to contrast the fattiness of the foie and the chicken.

Another view of Il Pulcino
Close up

Chicory-coffee Panna Cotta
Chicory-coffee Panna Cotta

As for dessert, the chicory-coffee panna cotta with fiore di latte. I really wanted to like this dessert but it didn’t happen. The panna cotta’s texture was spot-on: creamy with a touch of gelatin-like texture and it’s not too sweet. The problem was that the chicory-coffee flavor was overbearing and a bit too bitter for this dessert but I did enjoy the fiore di latte ice cream which kind of tempered the bitterness only by a notch.

As my first visit here, I liked Fiamma’s savory foods more than the dessert. I wouldn’t call this an Italian restaurant since it’s more like an Italian touch was added to the foods. I would give it a second chance, if I had the money to splurge on their prix fixe menu (since there’s no a la carte menu) but I have other restaurants planned already.

Addresses:
Birdbath

145 7th Ave South
New York, NY 10014

Fiamma
206 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012



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