The Harrison355 Greenwich St, 212-274-9310 Price range: $40-60 Rating: 4L's
Recently, my stalwart dining companion and I had an anniversary, which, of course, included a romantic meal, drinks and much that does not pertain to this column. So where did we go? Not to one of the newcomers I usually write about. Let’s face it, even the most ambitious joint, making the rounds on Page Six and the blogs, has hiccups while they get into a routine. Wanting a sure thing, we went to an old Tribeca standby, the Harrison. Not that it’s old — it’s been around for less than five years — but by this column’s standards, it may as well be in Pompeii. In actuality, it’s on Greenwich Street, overlooked by high-rise condos and federalist row houses, which present an only-in-NYC vista from one of the al fresco tables on the ample sidewalk.
Plus, there’s nothing more romantic than bunnies, right? And we got to eat them in two scrumptious ways. First was an appetizer of Ricotta Cavatelli with braised rabbit, escarole and mint ($12), a sprightly play of flavors that kept the rich rabbit from being overbearing. For an entree, there was a Bacon-Wrapped Rabbit Loin (perhaps the cutest part of the rabbit) with carrots and peas and a poppyseed vinaigrette ($25). A heavy dish, though the rustic flavors (the vinaigrette was as rich as any demi glace-based sauce) wore their weight proudly, as did the rest of the meal.
The night’s lightest dish was a first course of BBQ Pulled Pork ($12). The sweet crunch of yellow watermelon burst with occasional reminders of summer’s end and faded into fennel and smoky pork shoulder. No more bunny left to eat, our last main was the second cutest animal on the list: Duck Breast and Leg ($28). Paired with date and turnip puree, it didn’t stray much from the flavor-explosion, damn-your-waistline philosophy of the rest of the meal (thankfully, portions are reasonably petit). Most gratuitous, perhaps, was a take on spaetzle, with the taste and crunch of savory, herbed funnel cake. Nice restaurants really should serve more fried bread.
For dessert, we needed something to top off the heavy food, multiple glasses of sangria, red wine and canned micro-brew. Sorbet? I don’t think so. Carrot cake with cream cheese icing? Yes. And rich, moist carrot cake it was. But it didn’t compare to the accompanying Prune and Armagnac Ice Cream ($8).
As we bounced out, slightly giddy and in some ways sated, we noted the handsome brasserie-inspired dining room and effortless service. But through our meal, none of this crossed our minds. We were enjoying the food, the view, and each other.