The inhabitants of the East Coast have been getting lucky with fantastical fall weather. The kind of fall weather that makes you want to sit outside, brunching for hours, spectating passers-by, and contemplating why people would do anything else. Like work.
But then, who would pay for brunch? Perhaps you have a team of underlings that work for you so you can finance all your wack-a-doodle, hairbrained ideas and flights of fancy. I am jealous of you, if so. Let me know if your team is accepting applications.
In the meantime, sometimes Marmo takes me out to nice places where we can contemplate pasta fillings, and a properly fried carciofo while we refill our mimosas. Marmo was feeling especially generous the other week and took me to Lincoln Ristorante.
She picked this spot because I had been going on about it. Relentlessly, in fact.
"Hey, Marmo, we should go to the Lincoln," and "Have you been to the Lincoln yet?" and finally, "Hey, why don't you come into the city tomorrow and let's go to the Lincoln."
I am subtle.
Lincoln Ristorante offers a nice package for your brunching experience: your choice of two courses for $32. Marmo and I took our seats outside next to the fountain/reflecting pool at Lincoln Center to make our selections.
We were served some homemade focaccia bread with LARDO to wet our appetites. The lardo danced on the golden surface of warm focaccia like a savory donut glaze. Studded with cracked black pepper, I went in for another slice.
When I review a menu, I have an all-encompassing Terminator-esque ability to digest the entirety of food offerings in one glance. It's an odd talent. When dining with others, I'll often shout out my selection within seconds, "Ooo! I want the Roast Duck with Creamed Polenta and Pomegranate Glaze!" Others at the table question me immediately, "Where do you see THAT??" Whereupon, I roll my eyes and patiently point it out to them, as they've been too busy reading the menu like a book from start to finish.
Anyway, I spotted the Insalata di Carciofi immediately. With braised, crispy artichokes, endive and hazelnuts all topped with a poached hen egg.
The egg was perfectly poached. Once pierced with my fork it oozed gooey golden delicious goo all over my artichoke salad. The dressing was light and lemon-y which complemented the egg perfectly, while the salad was studded with both crunchy and soft artichokes.
Lincoln Ristorante makes their own pasta. I have a hard time not getting the pasta at a restaurant that makes its own. Therefore, I used my laser-like powers of perception and menu reviewal to select the Agnolotti di Mais. The Agnolotti were thumb-sized pockets of fresh pasta hiding reservoirs of sweet corn polenta filling. These little nuggets were resting in a bed of fresh basil stracciatella cheese that created drippy ribbons of dairy when I attempted to extricate one of the inhabitants.
Cracked black pepper sprinkled the tops of the pasta, and a few corn kernels skirted the periphery like coins in the Lincoln reflecting pool.
I tend to love dishes that have that sweet-salty taste combination and this one nailed that on the head with the sweet corn and salty cheese. But the pasta! Oh... the pasta! It was al dente with a firm yet soft grip on the oozing (but not overstuffed) polenta filling. Each one was a masterpiece.
Like fools, we did not leave room for dessert, but our waiter brought us this pedestal of miniature cookies and candies that was more than enough. Freshly made, I chose the truffle which was a dark chocolate shell holding a sweet, espresso-infused filling. The individually-wrapped candies were strawberry balsamic nuggets that I stored in my purse and found a day later while at work. Win - Win!
As for the restrooms, as it is October 1, I am awarding Lincoln Ristorante the September Bathroom of the Month Award.
A soothing, white modern affair, the Lincoln did much with little space. I especially liked the mirrored wall along the back. And while not technically part of the restroom, the pattern on the glass walls leading to the bathrooms was a tasteful take on a brocade pattern.
I will be going back to the Lincoln for another meal. Perhaps another brunch if this glorious fall weather continues. I consider this overall dining experience a Godfather - The Perfect Game.