Sunday, July 11, 2010


For whatever reason, I consistently find myself in the following situation: When a friend asks for a restaurant recommendation, I'm instantaneously able to spew off a number of different joints depending on cuisine preference, location, and/or price point without a flinch (or so it would seem). But when it comes time for me to pick or suggest a place to dine when I happen to be one of two people dining, I blank. Even in an area of NYC overflowing with great dining options, my mind seems to inconveniently go blank.

So lo and behold, during a recent, "I'm starving, where should we eat?" type situation, after a long pause, a few "uhhh's" and "hmm's," and after being faced with an hour and a half wait at Locanda Verde, we found ourselves at Landmarc. All I really knew about the place was that it had come recommended by a few people and that at one point, I was the proud holder of a Blackboard Eats 30% off coupon that, as per usual, had expired and never been redeemed. But they had outdoor seating and the night was comfortably warm and breezy and so in more ways than not, at first glance, it appeared to perfectly fit our bill.

A half bottle of 2008 Beckman Vineyards Grenache Rosé kicked off the evening which had a surprising watermelon note on the nose and strong presence on the palate. While it was technically a rosé, this interpretation almost came across as a chilled, fairly full-bodied red wine. And with a crispy proscuitto and fontina flatbread with mushrooms and arugula, this wine played quite nicely (albeit served cold, the crust lifeless and chewy, and the prosciutto cooked to the point of no return). We also nibbled on seared tuna polpetti served with herbed yogurt, cucumber and fennel salad, and drizzled with chili oil. A dish that sounded so perfectly catered to my taste buds and yet, sadly fell a bit short.

For the main, we went with the linguine vongole -- an undeniable classic which I haven't indulged in for years. Unfortunately, our forks twirled around in the linguine and came back up with more empty baby clam shells than actual clam meat. The pasta was certainly bordering on being overcooked and there were no flecks of fresh parsley perkiness in sight. But, it was certainly packing some heat by means of red pepper flakes. A few coughs heard on both sides of the table were quickly soothed by a healthy glug or two of rosé (which would have been alleviated by a glass of white had our waiter been so kind as to check back in with us at some point).

Landmarc certainly served its purpose by feeding two hungry diners al fresco but sadly didn't leave either one of us with enough of a lasting impression to want to return any time soon. Unless of course I once again find myself on the corner of Harrison and Greenwich Street with a growling stomach and a huge question mark hovering over my head. But, on immediate second thought, no. Because the answer is far too simple: enter Terroir Tribeca.

Lemme hear a resounding "DUH" up in here.

179 W. Broadway

FOOD: 33
LOOK: 17

FINAL GRADE: 79 (this should be translated as a solid 81, but, math is math)

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