View 42 at the Ritz Carlton

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Last Updated on June 6, 2015 by Chef Mireille

View 42 at the Ritz Carlton in White Plains is one of the participating restaurants in Hudson Valley’s Restaurant Week.  Up on the 42nd floor, the view is amazing and a very nice bar.  The bar is very hip and trendy with lots of young, singles – the place to be seen.
In my opinion, the whole reason for Restaurant Week is to enjoy delicious food, that you would normally not be able to afford.  The restaurant had a selection of a few $28 bottles of wine, that were very affordable and more than adequately complemented the delicious food.  $58 or more for a bottle of wine as some were spending at the bar,  I find an unnecessary expenditure for the evening, especially in the current economy.  This defeats the whole purpose of Restaurant Week.  Food is my specialty and not wine.  I have never claimed to be a sommelier, but it goes against my conscience to pay $58 for a bottle of wine when my favorite bottle of wine from my local liquor store costs $11.99.
Now to the main event – the food.  This restaurant had a very good selection for Restaurant Week.  A very light and delicately flavored potato soup or a wonderful salmon tartare with Asian pear, jalapeno and toasted sesame oil were the stars.  All of the flavors were delicate and blended so perfectly, that not one flavor dominated.  The jalapeno added a subtle kick at the end to the smoky sesame oil and freshness of the pear.  A simple Mesclun salad was the third appetizer option.
Main course options included skirt steak with potato puree and lamb belly with polenta.  There was virtually no description with the chicken option, not even indicating method of preparation.  The braised lamb belly was very tender and delicious but it is a part of the animal I think should never be included on the menu due to the layers of fat in the belly included within the braised meat.  Although not tough the way fat usually is, it still was not pleasurable to consume.  The vegetables were perfectly cooked, but the sauce was slightly bitter.
All of the desserts were wonderfully light and delicious.  After the fatty lamb, the vanilla pannacotta was a wonderful way to end the evening.
A wonderful array of various salts were placed on the table, but due to the amount of salt included in the food, there was no opportunity to sample the salt.  If you are going to have a gourmet item such as sea salts, the patron should have the opportunity to sample it.  Otherwise, it is there for effect only.
Portion sizes were ok, but could have been slightly larger.  Service was good.  Live piano music was nice, but too noisy if you are sitting at the table next to the piano, making conversation impossible.  Large tables made conversation difficult, even without the piano.  You have to almost scream for the person across the table to hear you, in a party of six.
In short, for a fabulous view and an ok meal, but not spectacular, it is not worth the $17 train ride from the city.  From perusing their normal menu, I have a feeling that the options on the full price menu would be a fabulous meal.  Many restauranteurs miss the point of Restaurant Week.  If you highlight your best assets, patrons will be willing to come back and pay full price, at least for special occasions, if they cannot afford it on a regular basis.  However, if you treat your Restaurant Week patrons as second class citizens, you can guarantee they wont be coming back for any reason!!!

Chef Mireille
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