Landmarc: The party is over
Landmarc used to be one of my favorite restaurants in New York, and it was definitely my favorite in its price range ($75 to $100 for a nice dinner for two). It was perfect for out-of-town guests, especially grown-ups. It’s in a quiet, chic neighborhood, an easy train or cab ride away, and it has a refreshing approach to wine (minimal mark-up and tons of cheap half bottles). It got a favorable review in the New York Times, and New York magazine even did a piece on a bluefish dish with chorizo from the restaurant (which I once made with good results).
I had such good feelings about this place, and I went several times and had excellent meals. Nathan and I had Valentine’s dinner there a few years ago, and while I still had my old job, I brought my entire office there for a party. It went so well that I sent a thank-you note the next day. I even cited Landmarc as having one of my favorite burgers, mentioning it in the same sentence as Tessaro’s.
I don’t know what has happened since then. Has Marc Murphy ditched this place for Ditch Plains? Or his next endeavor in the Time Warner Center?
Last Sunday, we took Nathan’s charming southern parents to Landmarc for a big New York dinner. We went early, because, you know, when your folks are in town here, you eat early. They sat us downstairs, which has half the charm of upstairs, but it was so early that I figured upstairs wasn’t open yet. Everything about the dinner was a little wrong. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the prices seem to have gone up. Has that famous (but tough) pork chop always been $26? I ordered the grilled salmon ($22), which was served medium-well and slightly above room temperature on a bed of boring, underseasoned vegetables. Nathan’s father had a large order of mussels…for $21! There seems to be a popular misconception about the value of mussels (less than $3 a pound). People must subconsciously group them with scallops and oysters, which are in fact extremely costly. I would never pay more than $10 for mussels in any restaurant. Mr. H’s were served with a huge nest of mealy, unappealing fries that went mostly uneaten, and I wanted to cry about it. How can fries be that bad at 7 pm?
Our server was downright rude to us, and it all started when we ordered tap water and two half bottles of wine for the table. It was attitude and “hurry up” from the drink order to the check, and I felt awful when Mr. H felt compelled to leave the expected 20% in an effort to be a responsible tourist.
Now that Park Avalon is closed and Landmarc has turned into just another bad, overpriced New York joint, I am short on options for parents and grandparents. Suggestions are welcome!
Landmarc 179 W. Broadway (between Leonard and Worth) 212 343 3883