Tonight, n8 and I had an excellent meal with J&C at August on Bleecker Street. I’ve been wanting to eat here since I read about it in Bon Appétit a few months ago, and I wasn’t disappointed. To start, we shared the tarte flambée with caramelized onions and bacon. For dinner, n8 had the lamb t-bone with mint jelly, and I had the whole roasted orata (the Italian name for dorade). I considered the pan roasted squab, but the buxom waitress told me unequivocally that she didn’t like it. Thankfully, I took her advice. I loved my fish. I’d actually never eaten a whole fish before, you know, with the eyeballs and teeth on the plate. It didn’t bother me in the slightest. It looked like it had been a happy, fat fish, and it was lovingly presented with olives, sea salt, and a little pitcher of herb-infused olive oil. The skin was crisp and the flesh was like butter.
Some of the comments on menupages said that the portions here were too small. Maybe my expectations were lowered because of this, but I completely disagree with these big eaters. Whoever wrote that must have ordered an appetizer by mistake, although our tarte flambée would have been sufficient for dinner! My fish was huge and full of meat, as was n8’s lamb and J’s monkfish. I don’t know what people expect when they go into tiny West Village places, or anywhere between 14th Street and Canal for that matter. I love downtown New York dinner portions. I didn’t have room for dessert, and I didn’t for one second worry that I wasn’t getting a good value, as I have at some other places. Anyway, it was my birthday, and I was being treated!