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Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Restaurant Review: My House

| 21 Comments

Tuli dinner setting

My House is distinguished by its informal dining atmosphere.

In general, I think “informal” best describes the atmosphere of this establishment. In going for the relaxed, comfortable feel, the proprietor fully succeeded, but perhaps went too far. No one greeted me when I arrived, and when I shouted “Hello,” the only response was a shout from another room saying hello back (although the person returning my shout did appear to know my name, which I thought was a nice touch). While I’m not about to set the health department on the place (everything seemed clean enough in general), I must add that there was a cat wandering casually around, and at one point, even a dog came up to me as if it expected me to share my meal! The result is a pretty “homey” atmosphere, enhanced (for me, though I realize not for many of you) by the fact that I was actually able to smoke between courses.

I started with a cocktail, a simple Irish whiskey, served neat, that of course was perfectly satisfactory. The liquor selection is small, yet, remarkably, well supplied with items that I like. They even had my preferred hard cider, Angry Orchard, although I didn’t have one on this occasion.

The appetizer I selected was the “Olives and Cheese Plate,” which proved to be garlic stuffed olives and Cahill’s Irish cheddar cheese with porter. An unusual combination, to be sure (feta is more typical), yet I found it worked rather well.

The salad was exactly the sort I like: Iceberg lettuce (yes, iceberg lettuce—don’t judge me) with red onion, scallions, cucumber slices, radishes, and red bell pepper, served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing that was distinguished by a truly remarkable olive oil called Arouri. If I had to complain about anything, I’d say that the balsamic vinegar was a bit cheap, and the salad could have used cauliflower and red cabbage, but all in all it was quite good.

For the entree I went with the chuck roast. It was thinly sliced, and had been slow roasted over low heat in a mixture of olives, garlic, onion, tomato juice, cumin, and balsamic vinegar. It was tender, and the flavor was most satisfactory, especially when accompanied by a sauce that was, I was told, simply the roasting mixture reduced and pureed. To go with it were roasted baby red potatoes served with salt, pepper, butter, paprika, and sour cream. For wine, I selected an Egri Bikaver. On reflection, I think a pinot noir or a Burgundy would have done better with the roast, but I can hardly blame the establishment for my choice of wine!

Dessert was a fruit salad, surprising in its simplicity: grapes, orange slices, and strawberries, mixed with whipped cream and a dash of Cointreau.

My biggest criticism has to be the service: It varied between abysmal and non-existent. In the end, I was required to fetch all of my own food from the kitchen, which was extremely annoying, and to return the empty plates. (I also had to do the dishes, but as that was in lieu of payment, I’m not complaining about it.)

In summary, I was not dissatisfied, and I intend to return soon and try the sukiyaki.

Four stars out of five.

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

21 Comments

  1. Are they on delivery.com? Do they deliver to Park Slope?

  2. That was entertaining, thank you. I would eat there if the opportunity presented itself.

    The fruit salad for dessert sounded especially good. One of my many vices is a tendency to go right for ice cream and cookies for dessert. But when someone else presents me with fruit salad or dried fruit and nuts instead, I find it equally enjoyable and satisfying. I just have to make a habit of it.

  3. My House seems to specialize in Italian dishes so must be different from your house.

  4. skzb

    That would make sense. We should arrange mutual visits.

  5. And here I worried that they’d be competing with Valabar’s. Then I got to the part about the service… 😉

  6. I’m surprised they didn’t make you do your own food prep as well as the clean up.

  7. skzb

    Oh, did I forget to mention that part?

  8. At my house, the cat also serves as the in house critic. His reviews of non shared cream sauces are particularly scathing.

  9. I’ve heard the food there is consistently great, but getting a reservation is next to impossible.

  10. I don’t understand this general contempt for iceberg lettuce. Heart of iceberg has a subtle, sweet flavor. The flat bitterness of watercress or the sharpness of arugula pales in comparison….

  11. I miss the time that the local My House – Chez Houston – was better funded.

    I loved to pick scents to compliment the meal. Boeuf bourguignon followed by apple pie or similarly spiced dessert as the scent of Jamaican vanilla incense wafted past was a favorite. With the chicken parmesan followed by a lemon dessert, I used to favor honeysuckle on the sideboard, but now prefer flowered sprigs of yesterday, today & tomorrow.

    And now I’m hungry.

  12. skzb

    Miramon: Well spoken, sir!

  13. I, too, enjoy iceburg lettuce. However, I am told by leaders in the field, it has essentially zero nutritional value.

  14. When our son got an iguana a number of years ago, we were warned not to feed it iceburg lettuce — “Iceburg lettuce is the crack of the Iguana world.”
    Tasty but no nutritional value.
    This hasn’t stopped me from eating it.

  15. Re iceberg lettuce, this zero nutritional value issue is silly unless you are a lizard or a turtle. Have a rachel sandwich for lunch instead of plain pastrami if you’re worried about phytonutrients 🙂

    Next let me move on to a more important problem. I see a distressing trend in some fancy restaurants of providing whole lengths of romaine lettuce instead of cut pieces for Caesar salad. No one wants to use a knife with a Caesar salad. This horror must end.

  16. Do you have any good specials tonight?

  17. Bull’s blood of Egri sneers at your effete pinot noir.

  18. skzb

    Specials tonight will be: Find some onion and some meat and some bell pepper and some mushrooms and do something with it and probably have it over rice.

  19. How’s the parking?

  20. skzb

    Can get dicey on weekday evenings. But as a preferred customer, I have a reserved spot in back.

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