March 24, 2008

Merkato 55

Marcus Samuelson is brilliant. We've been attempting to replicate his dishes via the recipes in his cookbook "The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa" for a few months and thought we were doing an OK job, but tonight's meal at his newest NYC restaurant set the bar to a height I had forgotten existed. You may know Marcus as the Ethiopian-born Swedish-raised chef and mastermind behind NYC's acclaimed restaurant Aquavit, and his latest restaurant venture Merkato 55 is nothing less than genius. Seriously, if you live in the area or happen to have a trip planned to NYC in the near future - make reservations. Now.

We started with an assortment of African breads with hummus that was absolutely addictive. Seriously, had they allowed me access to the pastry chef I may have been tempted to comondere his services with the request that he make these delicious buttery spiced flavored breads and the most creamy wonderful hummus I've ever had...amazing. Next on the menu were oysters, and not the typical NYC Meatpacking District "here's an oyster a piece, enjoy" rather they actually split the dish between my husband and I and we each enjoyed three! Again an amazing spice filled dish that left us satisfied and wishing we were born with the talent required to recreate. The meal was topped off with a spicy doro wat and a mustard seed venison kebab dish, and "smiles all around" would be the understatement of the century. Yum, yum, yum, can't wait to go back.

I never take pictures in restaurants and I think my husband was thoroughly embarrassed when I insisted on taking a quick pick of our entrees, but the food was just so good!!


Amanda and Andrew said...

haha-I too never take pictures in restaurants, but I'm glad you made an exception.
I'm insanely jealous that you live in the city where you have access to all of these wonderful things.
We have beaches-but even NY is close to the ocean.

Anyhow-if you did place a call, thanks a million times over! She made the changes to our homestudy and sent it back right away. She's got jury duty (supposedly) tomorrow, but I'm sure once Toni gets back to her and she gets to the office in the afternoon-she'll send the homestudy off.
I'm super excited.

(and thanks for the info on the links! I updated it!)

Misty said...

This looks and sounds fabulous. How a South Dakota girl longs for real food and real restaurants! Now that you're broken to taking pics in restaurants, you'll be ready when the little one arrives!

Brooke said...

Oh, that's so funny. Your husband will have to get used to pics being taken in restaurants and every where else for that matter. When you have children you take pictures of them any where and everywhere!

The food does look great! Glad you got a pic of it.

Cloverland Farm said...

can't wait to try it!!!!

Craig & Cindy said...

Sounds SCRUMPTIOUS! Next time we're in NYC, we're definitely going there. Thanks!


Stacie said...

Oh I'm so jealous that you get to go to his restaurant! I love his cookbook (it is so beautiful!) and would LOVE to go to the restaurant. Lucky New Yorkers! :)