January 29, 2004

Restaurant Week 2004 - Dinner at Compass

POST #    730

The bar at Compass.

Our dinner table.

Assorted breads.

Chopped Salad - maytag blue cheese, sherry vinaigrette

Roasted Poussin - chicken blanquette, seasonal vegetables, fine herbs

Apple Strudel - caramel sauce, gianduja, and vanilla ice cream

Blueberry pana cotta, pistachio cookies, coconut chocolates, and chocolate truffles

Last night, I went to eat at Compass - my second trip to a fancy restaurant this week, all thanks to Restaurant Week (Monday, I went to Maya). This time, I ventured to the Upper West Side with Jeannette, Jess, Rachelle, and Yvan. It was a great time. There is nothing like a fine meal with friends, no matter how immature you act as a group.

Compass opened in 2002 and quickly picked up an award from Interior Design Magazine for Best Restaurant Design that year. In the 2003 NYC Zagat survey, Compass was rated the #1 new restaurant. One reader even called it the "best thing to happen to the West Side since Lincoln Center." All quite high praise for this newcomer to a tough restaurant market.

I'll have to agree with ID Magazine and say that the design of Compass is truly beautiful. Everything from the exterior of the establishment to the bathroom had an excellent design look. Their logo was a little "eh", but I guess there is only so much you can do with a compass.

The food, the food was pretty damn good. The salad was interesting and visually appealing, but had celery, which I despise. Despite that, it was still quite tasty. The chicken that I had was pretty much standard chicken. Good, but I've had better chicken at cheaper restaurants. It's possible that my appetite was spoiled by the breadsticks at the bar though. The barkeep said they were laced with a drug. For me, desert was the highlight of the night. I was leaning towards the cheesecake, the other desert on the prix fix menu, but our waiter Bobby said that he preferred the strudel. Strudel it was. I'll tell you what, that might have been the best apple strudel that I've ever had. There was ice cream, caramel sauce, what more could you want. As if that wasn't enough sweetness, Bobbie was nice enough to bring out a dish of desert stuff for us. The combination of the cream from the pana cotta and chocolate was so good that I think Rachelle even made her "oh! face".

The one thing that I think set Compass apart from most of the restaurants that I've been to is the service. While you definitely expect good service at any restaurant as nice as Compass, the service from out waiter Bobby went above and beyond. He engaged in conversation with us, joked around with us, and made a delightful evening even better. Obviously, this won't fly with all people, but he seemed like he knew what he could get away with while waiting on our table. If you ever go to Compass, ask for Bobby, he will make a great meal even better.

- Rachelle on "Gone Wild at Compass"
- Compass (official site)
- Citysearch review
- NY Metro listing
- Restaurant Week 2004

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:24 AM



Damn Tien you sure are spoiled with all your fancy NYC restaurants! If you come to Harrisburg this summer I will take you to some real "dives" :)

Posted by: Justin at January 29, 2004 10:04 AM

ha, spoiled. not exactly. just once every so often. i figure i eat enough crap anyway, so i should get to eat fancy a few times a year.

if i come to harrisburg, all i want is wings. wings all the time. that's healthy right?

Posted by: tien at January 29, 2004 11:17 AM

Wings are very healthy! There's chicken in there somewhere, right?! (wink, wink)

I'll give you a harrisburg "wing-tour". You won't be disappointed!

Posted by: Justin at January 29, 2004 11:25 AM

i would love a wing tour, but i'm not sure that certain parts of my digestive system could handle it, if you know what i mean.

Posted by: tien at January 29, 2004 11:31 AM

Compass used to be Marika, this horrible horrible place, so most of the design work actually happened for its opening as Marika.

Posted by: Jen at January 29, 2004 11:59 AM

I know what you mean Tien - the key to preventing that is pre-emptive drugs!

Posted by: Justin at January 29, 2004 4:04 PM

they have pre-emptive drugs to make foods less spicy on the way out? because that's what i mean. i don't mean heartburn. i mean um...ring burn.

Posted by: tien at January 29, 2004 4:10 PM

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