Metrazur has CLOSED.
Grand Central Terminal
East Balcony
New York, NY 10017
(212) 687-4600

My mom (Shrink) has done many a thing for yours truly. She gave me a place to live for nine months, paid for my college edjamakashun, and lets me crash at her and Dudeman's apartment when it's late, I'm smashed and I don't want to take the subway back to Queens. Some offspring might celebrate their mom by pissing their money away on a Dooney & Bourke handbag. But everyone who sees a name-brand purse in this city assumes it's fake anyway. That's like giving a gift that screams "poser". But you can't fake a good meal. Therefore, it fell upon myself and Bro (and Dudeman) to take said giver of life, money and car out to dinner.

We selected Metrazur, Charlie Palmer's Grand Central gastrohub. I first ate at a Charlie Palmer establishment a few years ago when he ran Kitchen 22 in Flatiron. I liked it enough that I made it a point to go back time and again. Sadly, it has since closed. My hope was that Metrazur would be kinda like Kitchen 22, and it kinda was, though the clientele is noticeably older. Bro and I were the youngest people eating here this Saturday evening by a decade.

Bro and I showed up somewhat earlier than the Rents, so we relaxed at the table and ordered some cocktails. I was very surprised that on a Saturday evening there were free tables. In fact, by the time we left, we were literally the last people in the restaurant. And I didn't think we left that late. Why so empty, I wondered aloud. My guess is that the average diner here has to catch their train to Westchester or, being older, eats ealier. Whatever the reason, I doubt that it was the food.

So how was the food? Okay, the appetizers were hit-or-miss. The entrees were more hit. Bro started with the Risotto, which was amazing. Creamy and sweet with peas and leek and the sharp hint of parmesan cheese. This may have been the best risotto I've ever had. Shrink went for the Caramelized Fennel and Mushroom Bisque, which was also delicious. The dish started with chunks of lobster, around which was poured the bisque itself. I have never much cared for fennel, but I barely noticed it in the dish and truly felt that this was a great soup, though the lobster seemed to have gotten lost in it. Working our way down the totem pole of yumminess, I ordered the Littleneck Clams, which were pretty good, but I've had better. Too many shards of broken shell wound up in my mouth, turning what should have been a rather pleasant dish into a rather annoying one. Dudeman ordered the Greens Salad, which, in his words, was your everyday salad. Nothing more, nothing less. I disagree, the croutons, which were absolutely foul, made it less.

Enter the entrees. Shrink ordered the weakest entree, the Pork Tenderloin. It was good, but not great. She liked it a lot, but I found the meat somewhat bland and overcooked, the verjus sauce with it overly tangy. It came with a stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth banana grits side dish, but you couldn't really taste the banana in it. I liked the broccolini a lot though. Dudeman chose the Monk Fish with a fennel crust, bok choi, shaved asia pear and a soy sauce reduction. I stole the fewest bites of this dish, mostly because Dudeman sat opposite me at the round table and it was awkward passing the plate around. But he enjoyed it and I certainly recall it tasting quite good.

Bro ordered the Crisp Seared Atlantic Salmon, which was the absolute best entree of all. He ordered it medium and felt that he perhaps should have ordered it medium rare. I disagree. It was just right just the way it was. The celeriac and apple sauce it was served with, alongside the green pea pesto, rounded the entire dish out. The salmon dish from one restaurant often tastes similar to the salmon dish of another, and where they differ or stand out is often based on the sauce. Here, the sauce truly pushed the entree to the top of the pile. I ordered the Caramelized Murray's Chicken, served atop a ragout of beans and broccoli rabe puree. This was delicious. The skin was crisp while the meat was perfectly tender, if just a hair dry. I really hate broccoli rabe, but didn't even notice it in the dish where it was basically turned into a kind of gravy.

Metrazur's desserts, while good, felt standard and uninspired when compared to the entrees and even the two great appetizers I mentioned. We ordered all four on the menu and passed them around so everyone could have some. The Warm Arabica Chocolate Cake was essentially a lava cake. It was very rich and if you like rich chocolate things, then you're bound to appreciate this dessert. Shrink and Dudeman thought that this was the best of the desserts. The Tahitian Vanilla Creme Brulee was my choice for best finale. It was a little loose, and if you know creme brulees, you know what I mean. It tasted great, but I'm used to creme brulees being far more firm. There was a choice of two scoops of ice cream or sorbet and we went with the Sorbet. Lime and raspberry. It was good... it was sorbet. Lastly, we ordered the Moscato d'Asti & Fresh Fruit Basket thing, which was mediocre at best. What they call "Grand Marnier laquered berries" was really gelatin with fruit and berries in it and berries dusted with powdered sugar on the side. We ate the berries and pretty much skipped the Jell-o.

This Saturday, but possibly all Saturdays, the meal came with the option of being prix-fixed. For $44 per person, you can have an entree, an appetizer, and a dessert. Plus, if two people order the prix-fix meal, it comes with a bottle of Charlie Palmer's ISC brand house red or house white. We all went prix-fix so we got two bottles of wine, one of each the red and the white. Both bottles were pretty damn good for house wine.

Two cocktails, two bottles of wine, one iced tea, four appetizers, four entrees, four desserts, two coffees and a mint tea, with tax and tip cost roughly $270.

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