Friday, April 07, 2006

Not Just Good


Before say, 1998, restaurant food in the burbs was pretty darn backwater. It was bad. It was (as the yogurt loving gal pals on the Yoplait commercial might say) "sell your house and move bad." And yet still it can be difficult to find a compelling meal and dining experience in the burbs. If you're like the Wesfoodie and you spend most waking hours working to pay off your Westchester sized mortgage and professional/grad school loans you probably don't enjoy sitting down to a pricey but glum meal when you finally get to stretch your legs and treat your taste buds a bit. And who would?

That is why the WesFoodie likes to share, from time to time, some thoughts on worthwhile meals had right round the burbs. Well, "worthwhile" actually doesn't begin to describe what happened when I ate at Plates in Larchmont....

To understand Plates and just how good it is – let me start with the end of the meal. The waitress, who has grown much more comfortable in this small and well fitting space over the course of the evening, places down a small, round and white plate with a square of warm homemade caramel on it for each guest. This is just cooked sugar, you know - caramel. But what sugar could ever imagine itself transforming into this? For common cane to aspire to these heights is beyond even the most starry eyed hopes of the sweetest of granes. It is at once both knowingly familiar and a little adventure to somewhere new; comforting in its warmth and the depth of its sweet but challenging one’s taste towards a higher note. But its not trying to be anything other than what it is: candy of heated sugar and butter.

Plates is thoughout the meal like the caramel that ends the evening - as comfortable as a piece of candy like the one in a denim jacket pocket in some distant memory of you as a kid and yet taken to a level only a mature hand could dream of mastering. This is Plate’s greatness – it is as accomplished as it is unpretentious. It is at once a small neighborhood place where everyone is friendly and relaxed and simultaneously the venue for Westchester’s most natural and talented chef: Matt Karp.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been to PLATES several times and it is by far the best restaurant in Westchester -- we agree with you!!! To make actual comparisons though, you have to compare it to the excellent restaurants of Manhattan, not the nearer options of Westchester. It's that good.

Anonymous said...

The WesFoodie could not agree more. The food is every bit up to NYC standards but the atmosphere is definately not of the City. Which I really love about it.

Anonymous said...

Was there tonight. Good service, Wendy was great. Scallops were superb, among best I've had, but Duck main dish was pedestrian, no trace of Orange in the sauce. Very disappointing.

bdr said...

Mediocre. Duck main dish was pedestrian at best. Waitress dropped the figurative ball several times. No rush to return. Have had 10 better meals in westchester this year.