Et tu, Sietsema?
In honor of the Ides of March, here’s the Post’s food critic sticking the knife in caesar ... salad. Excerpts from past reviews:
“Keep in mind the raw bar you saw near the host stand when you’re ordering starters: Oysters on the half-shell and plump shrimp go down easy. The kitchen does not toss a convincing Caesar salad, however; the steakhouse staple is sullied with arid croutons and dull lashings of cheese.”
“I’d be more excited about Carmine’s if the bread basket had more character and the cheese on its Caesar didn’t resemble flavored sawdust.”
“With its tiny, tasteless croutons and industrial-strength dressing, the Caesar salad could pass for something you’d find at 30,000 feet, in the back of the plane.”
“The short menu holds few surprises. Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail and a T-bone all make appearances. The salad, awash in dressing and scattered with dull croutons, fails the love test.”
“District Commons refers to its Caesar salad laced with anchovies as a ‘Second Date’ Caesar. It’s more fun to hear the explanation -- a heaping helping of garlic -- than to eat the routine salad topped with airy croutons.”
“Granted, chophouses tend to be where you go for a taste of tradition, but even the basics aren’t done very well here. Witness the scrawny oysters, the vapid Caesar salad showered with bacon and the G-rated steak tartare.”
“In a clever first course, Caesar salad is rethought as a low hedge bound with creamy dressing and fenced in with a ribbon of parma ham. Central Michel Richard downtown does something similar, albeit better; Brabo's version comes with a Parmesan tuile that bends when it ought to snap. The cracker tastes less than fresh.”
Unlike Julius Caesar’s assassin, Sietsema is not completely without compassion for the humble salad:
“The kitchen tosses a respectable Caesar salad, which means you can taste anchovy (and lime) in the tangy dressing.”
The restaurant’s Caesar salad is “a low sculpture of romaine spears and creamy goat cheese mousse poised on its racy dressing. Hovering on top is a thin ‘lace’ of Parmesan. The salad is elegant and delicious and fits neatly with the 30-seat dining room.”
Sri Gopalaswamy contributed to this post.