Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thor









Thor is a new, trendy restaurant on the Lower East Side that recently opened. It received good reviews and serves interesting, modern food. The dining room is very nice, with dim lighting and spacious white booths.

We started with a trio of fall soups, which were wonderful. The chesnut had a foamy top, similar to cappucino foam and the flavor was creamy and nutty. The pumpkin had a deep, rich flavor that was evocative, especially when topped with pumpkin seeds. The celery root was was suprisingly good, and was lighter than the other two soups.

The white tomato mousse was an unusual and fabulous starter. The mousse was unlike anything I've tasted before, it was light and creamy like whipped cream, except ten times lighter. The tomato compote on top of the mousse was juicy and flavored with opal basil.

The hamachi with avocado was very good. The fish was fresh and had a tangy marinade and paired nicely with the avocado and tomatoes.

The snapper entree with clams, artichokes, and olives was amazing. The broth was wonderful, and full of flavor. The fish was perfectly cooked and had a crispy skin topped with lemon and salt. The vegetables served alongside were crispy and delicious.

The halibut with celery root and wild mushrooms was a warm, substantial fall dish. The fish was roasted and went well with the celery root and mushrooms.

The lobster with figs, favas, and bearnaise sauce was tiny, but wonderful. The lobster was moist and delicate, and the combinations of the dish were imaginative. The small portion made this otherwise heavy dish light.

The vegetable side of figs with fennel was very good. The fennel was buttery and paired well with the roasted figs.

The complementary creamed spinach was the only dud of the dinner. It had a fishy taste and tasted old.

The flight of desserts had a passion fruit gelee with an espresso granita and a coconut mousse, which was the best out of the three. The coconut mousse was light and airy. The chocolate hazelnut pudding was warm, and a good rendition of a classic. The vanilla ice cream with pumpkin seeds was good, but not outstanding.

The pumpkin cheesecake with fall fruits and maple ice cream was good, but was heavy. The pumpkin flavor was nice, but the ice cream was a little too sweet.

The passion fruit souffle with passionfruit ice cream was wonderful. The souffle was light and crispy and had a great passion fruit flavor.

The concord grape float with ginger ice cream and ginger fig newtons was the star of the desserts. It was one of those dishes were the all the ingredients combine to create something new and wonderful. The ginger ice cream was fabulous with the grape and the fig newton was crispy and wonderful.

Thor offers inventive, wonderful food in a fun, hip atmosphere. It was about $60 a person including an appetizer, entree, and dessert.

Thor
107 Rivington St.
New York, NY 10002
212 796 8040

AQ Cafe

AQ Cafe is a Scandinavian place (by the owner of Aquavit) located in Midtown in NYC. It is cafeteria style and is fairly cheap. However the lines are very long and slow and the food is prepared in a space the size of a closet.

We got one Nordic Cuban sandwich, which was the best out of everything we ordered. It was on good, crispy bread and the mustard was a nice touch on an otherwise ordianary Cuban.

We also had the Gravlax Club, cured salmon with avocado, tomato, potato, and cilantro, served on whole grain bread. It was okay, not bad, but not good.

The Broccoli Fennel soup was dull and tasted like the broccoli, fennel, and cream had just been pureed then served.

The meatballs, one of their specialties were heavy and had a strong meat flavor. It was served with a lingonberry jam, which didn't perk the dish up enough.

The side salads served with each dish were terrible, very old lettuce and no flavor.

AQ Cafe serves mediocre food with long lines; not worth anyone's time or money

AQ Cafe
58 Park Avenue (at 38th St.)
New York, NY 10016
P. 212 847 9745
F. 212 686 2115
www.aquavit.org