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Monday, June 21, 2010

Shhh - Quiet in the Library

We were lucky enough to have out-of-town visitors on Friday night.  We were even luckier that they, along with one of their other friends, had already made the dinner/drinking plans.  After working all day, it's nice to reap the benefits of a night out without any of the hassle of planning.

We started the evening at Brandy Library, which was surprisingly more laid back than I anticipated.  I was worried we would feel out of place in jeans, but everyone seemed very casual and welcoming.  I couldn't stop looking at the walls.  I wouldn't call them walls - wall-to-wall shelving is more appropriate.  The shelves were stocked with all the alcohol, which should give you an idea of just how many different types of alcohol they carry (lots of wall space, no repeating bottles)...which leads me to the rather extensive menu.

The drink list was so long that by the time the waiter came to take our order, I was still on page 1.  Thankfully, I found something right away that I felt suited me.  It was called the seer sucker.  I can't tell you what was in it, and to be honest, I never looked past the name.  I love wearing seer sucker, so I figured I must love drinking it as well.  My thought process worked.  I took the waiters suggestion for drink #2 and found it tasty as well, but my heart (and my closet) will always belong to seer sucker.

Even though we were heading to dinner, we were starving so we ordered a couple of appetizers to calm our grumbling tummies while we finished our drinks.  The gougeres (cheesy popovers) were melt-in-your-mouth, the merguez-in-a-blankets were a new take on a retro fave, and the fois gras mac and cheese was gooey and scrumptious.

It may be all the way down in TriBeCa, but Brandy Library was worth the trip.  Tip: it's got a manly vibe, so if boys out there are getting sick of being dragged to girly bars by their ladyfriends, this one is a crowd pleaser.

Around the corner we went for dinner at Nobu Next Door.  It's not next door to the bar; "next door" is actually part of the name - thought I should clarify.  This little sister to Nobu reminded me how good high quality sushi is.  It also reminded me how expensive high quality sushi is.  The rock shrimp were amazing.  Plump shrimp in just the right amount of sauce.  I had the seared tuna salad for my entree (just tuna atop lettuce with miso ginger dressing - nothing special, but good) and tempura broccoli and sugar snap peas.  I also had a few bites of the omakase one of the girls ordered.  Omakase just means the chef prepares whatever he thinks is best.  It's exorbitantly priced but so unbelievably tasty.  After all the apps we'd already had, I didn't want to waste an amazing and expensive meal on an almost full stomach, hence the salad.  However, next time I want to splurge, that's where I'm taking my extra cash.

Lesson of the evening: TriBeCa is not to be overlooked.  Good bars and restaurants without the raucous behavior of other Manhattan neighborhoods.

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