Five PointsFive Points

Tonight, to celebrate some good news at work, I took n8 for dinner at Five Points on Great Jones Street. I’ve been wanting to eat here for several months, and rather than making the trek down to Landmarc, we figured we’d eat somewhere we could walk.

Of course, Marc Meyer just opened Cookshop, but I wanted to try this place before traveling all the way to 10th avenue. I’m such a central village queen! Anyway, we had a great dinner, and I have just one snide comment to make later on.

Five Points is sexy inside—it has that great muted lighting, like at Caviar and Banana, and in the movie Birth, that I’ve always been fond of, under which everyone looks pretty. The noise level is manageable, which is becoming rarer around here. Service was fine from beginning to end, not too invasive (although we were saddled with a waiter and a waiter-in-training).

We started with the wood-fired pizzette, with fontina, potatoes, and onions. It smelled like the brick oven pizza from The Italian Oven. Does anyone remember that chain? The smell of wood oven pizza is so appealing. This was a delicious and enormous appetizer. For mains, n8 had the marinated pork chop with a side of bacon-laced cabbage. The chop was nearly two inches thick and very flavorful. He was too full to even finish his cabbage! I went for the dayboat scallops, which were also more than satisfying, though I do have one bone to pick…

My scallops, which were $25, were buttery, fresh, and good to eat. And I am not somebody who is only happy with large portions. On the contrary, I can barely finish a bagel in the morning anymore. Nevertheless, when I got my dinner tonight, and there were five quarter-sized scallops on the plate, I felt a pang of disappointment. When I finished my dinner, I was full, and I certainly didn’t need a sixth scallop. However, there’s a delicate balance between the cost of a dish (especially at a casual restaurant), the size of the dish, and the diner’s expectations. After an appetizer that could have sufficed as a main course, I expected a few more scallops in my dinner. I’m thinking now that they use five because of the whole five points motif, and I guess I can appreciate that in retrospect. But there was a gaping hole on my plate where another mollusk would not have been amiss. I’ll pay $5 per bite if I have to, and these were worth it, but why let the diner even debate it? Am I such a cheap bastard for thinking, “I’m paying $25 for five little scallops?” Anyone?

We got drunk off a smooth farmhouse wine from Provence. I am totally into any wine from a mas (farmhouse), ever since we had a bottle of what I believe to be the best wine in the world. I figure the farmers wouldn’t even have time to waste on a lousy crop, and so far I have been right.

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