Back to The National. Had plans to have dinner with Page Six and some of her friends. Cookie Monster and I had such an amazing first experience at Zakarian’s place that I suggested we go back there again. This time we sat in the room that had the long bar. It felt more casual in there which was nice – bustling and full of energy.
We started with two bar snacks. The chicken wings:
It’s served with blue cheese dressing, buffalo sauce and celery. If you are a huge fan of buffalo wings like I am, these you must try. It had the perfect amount of tang from the vinegar based buffalo sauce, the rich creaminess of the blue cheese and the sharp bite of celery…but it was the wings themselves that elevated them to the “Best Buffalo Wings I’ve Ever Had.” The variety you get at bars tend to be overly fried, sometimes to the point that the meat is dried out. These wings were succulent and so full of moist chicken meat. It was fall off the bone delicious. Page Six and I were loving these.
The lamb meatballs:
These were good but I’ve had better meatballs elsewhere. I’m not quite sure what I thought of that red sauce, it was a little sweet but really didn’t do much for the meatballs I thought. The sourness of the pickled jalapenos and sauerkraut were nice however in contrast to the richer lamb meat. The portion is plentiful, you get about 7 or 8 golf sized meatballs.
I started with the diver scallops with broccoli, parsnip puree and some kind of mushrooms:
YUMMMMM. Perfectly cooked sweet plump scallops. Everything on the plate only enhanced the sweet deliciousness of the scallops.
For main course, Cookie Monster and I both opted to get the pork chop with candied garlic, broccolini and cheese grits.
I expected Zakarian’s pork chop to be thick, juicy and delicious – he did not disappoint. This was wonderful. It had heft to it and was full of juicy flavor. I was sure to gnaw around the more caramelized bits near the bone. So good. Here is a photo of the creamy cheese grits (the perfect accompaniment):
This meal was, once again, phenomenal. The location of Midtown East in NYC is a bit of a pain and not exactly the best of locations but it really is an “adult” restaurant with wonderful comfort cooking. If you haven’t tried the National, you should. The food is wonderfully executed.
The National, 557 Lexington Street, New York, NY