by Leonor White
I recently discovered a farm-to-table restaurant in the West Village. I was looking for an upscale lunch at an affordable price to dine with my family. Mas (la grillade) is the sister restaurant to Mas (farmhouse), but, as the name indicates, focuses on grilled meats.
During lunch hours, a seasonal menu of locally grown foods cooked solely over wood fires of oak, apple and other hardwoods is served. This menu is comprised of three courses: appetizer, main course and desert, and it all comes at a very reasonable price, $27. Lunch à la carte is also available, but I would recommend opting for the menu, as you get a chance to experience Chef Galen Zamarra’s seasonal favorites. The restaurant is also open for dinner, and just as for lunch, there is a prix fixe menu (but for a higher price, $68), as well as an à la carte dining.
We went for lunch on a Saturday, and it did not disappoint. The restaurant is simply but tastefully decorated, making a bold statement with regards to its farm-to-table concept. As the menus arrived, we all had our eyes fixed on the first item in the menu: “Grilled Pear and Sunchoke Soup with Mint, Black Truffle and Hen of the Woods Mushrooms.” Despite the fact that there were other appetizers to choose from, such as the “Grilled Trumpet Royale Mushrooms with a Salad of Mizuna, Grilled Onion Vinaigrette, and Croutons,” we all thought that the soup sounded divine, and it was indeed. The grilled pear and sunchoke flavors made for a distinctive taste; the soup was sprinkled with mint and black truffles and topped with mushroom croutons.
For the main course, we all went our separate ways, with some of us choosing the grilled duck confit, which, despite the fact that it was cooked for 12 hours over a wood fire, was tender and pink, just as it should be. The duck was accompanied by grilled baby carrots and turnips, Swiss chard and bacon; what a tasty combination! The grilled salmon with Alphonso olive tapenade, grilled bok choi and escarole is also a must; the salmon which came out pan-seared on the outside, moist and darker inside, was just right.
After these first two substantial courses, we just had room enough for dessert. We ordered a sort of baba-apple cake flavored with maple syrup and cinnamon, accompanied by buttermilk sorbet that was extremely satisfying.
Although the lunch menu was a bargain, we stayed away from the expensive wine list and opted for the reasonably priced craft beers. Because this is a gastronomic restaurant, the wine prices match those of the à la carte menu. However, if you are a wine enthusiast, Mas (la grillade) does have an extensive, quality wine list and has a highly respectable selection of organic wines.
Overall, our experience at Mas la grillade was outstanding, the portions perfectly sized, the service outstanding, and the atmosphere delightful. The prix-fixe lunch menu is highly recommended for the great price-value it offers and is a pleasant place for a family dinner.
28 Seventh Avenue South
Manhattan, NY 10014
Telephone: 212-255-1795 Fax: 212-255-1720
Open for lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner nightly from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Neighborhood: West Village
Nearest Transit Station:
W 4th Street (A,B,C,D,E,F,M)
Christopher St-Sheridan (1)