Check Out Prandial in Chelsea

Mark Stern’s Prandial is comforting in all of its richesse. Plush banquettes, dark wood, and an angular, modern feel about the bar space, which melds up a short set of stairs to the dining main dining area- balancing old world of luxury and the new world emphasis on dining and conversing in the utmost comfort of one’s hosts. While happy hour at Prandial is sure to be a prized venue, the plates take center stage.

With perfectly buttery -and by that I mean the texture of the meat itself, not the use of butter- lamb and corn pudding, the pleasant medley of English peas and Thai basil, seasonal salads featuring fig, duck, crab, and avocado, and herbal ice creams (thyme in particular), this French-American fusion is set to wow diners from start to finish.

In terms of appetizers, there’s nothing too “heavy” to start with, and the portions are for one, so even the diet-conscious can rest easy about filling up before the main dish. Cockles and chorizo bask in an irresistible soup of white wine, onion, and olive oil, with crusty toasted bread to soak up the mixture. The salad I most enjoyed contained shredded duck meat, perfectly ripe mission figs, and bitter endive and frisse greens- crisp, light, and super fresh.

Desserts are hard to choose between, because they range from unique tastes to luscious classics. Are you in the mood for a fresh, light, buttery mango upside-down cake with with thyme ice cream (oh yes) or a warm brownie sundae? For something chocolate and something new, I’d say your best bet will be to stop by and try the chocolate caramel torte. It’s like a caramel candy covered in dark chocolate; it is an over-sized, fancy, dark chocolate candy, with a side of berries and vanilla ice cream. For a classy-without-the-stuffiness night out, visit Prandial at 31 West 21st Street in the east end of Chelsea.

Prandial: 21st street between 5th & 6th Avenue / (212) 510 8722.

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