Chef Galen Zamarra has held court in the West Village at his Provencal-inspired Mas (Farmhouse) for over seven years. I'd passed the rough-hewn wooden door to the restaurant on Downing Street several times, but never crossed the threshold. It took a birthday to finally get me to take that big step inside. The birthday in question belonged to my amiga Sandra -- and her birthday is an event that always requires some serious celebration.
I know my dear friend likes great food, an elegant environment and a quick refilling of the bread basket. After doing my research, I decided Mas (Farmhouse) might do the trick. The food sounded scrumptious. The dining room was both white linen sophisticated and casually comfortable all at once. The one hitch? There was no bread basket, per se, but they promise three kinds nonetheless.
The menu, room and breads happily met with Sandra's approval. Whew!
Feeling rather coddled as we downed Sazeracs and nibbled on a very amusing amuse bouche, we began to ask our ebullient host Dave questions about the menu. Within seconds, we decided to forgo the stress of making decisions and ordered the chef's six-course tasting.
As you can see from the snapshot of Paddlefish Caviar with Butternut Squash, it was not a mistake. Gorgeously presented dishes, came at a steady clip: House-made Pork and Sauerkraut Sausage with Quince Puree, Cider Braised Cabbage and Glazed Kohlrabi;
Roasted Lobster Tail and Poached Lobster Claw atop Ricotta Gnocchi, Baby Spinach and Cauliflower in a Leek Cream -- and so on. As we luxuriated in glasses of Vacqueyras Domaine le Sang des Calliou 2008, the cheese course arrived, including creamy Nettle Meadow “Kunik” and tangy Belle Weather Farms “San Andreas."
Yes. This was good. This was very good.
Dessert didn't quite live up to the glow of dinner itself, but Sandra's birthday candle burned brightly nonetheless.
A return visit to Mas (Farmhouse) is definitely on my "to-do" list. Perhaps for my birthday? (Hint! Hint!)