As written in my introductory post I chose Legal Seafoods on Mamaroneck Ave in White Plains for my first HVRW outing since I had worked there over a decade ago and had been very fond of the food then and wanted to see how it stacked up now. It also provided me with the opportunity to treat my mother, to whom I owe a good 2 years worth of dinners if not more, to a night out on my dime. *waves to mom.*
We had our reservations for 6:45pm and when we arrived the restaurant had not yet gotten into the busy hour of the dinner shift. We were seated promptly by the very friendly and welcoming hostess who let us know about the HVRW menu that they were offering that evening.
The Restaurant Week menu, unfortunately, was a bit limited in its offerings. For both the lunch and dinner versions of the menu diners had a choice of either a cup of Clam Chowder or the Ceaser Salad (for lunch)/ House Salad (for dinner), a selection of three entrees (for dinner these included, Anna’s Baked Scrod, Nutty Atlantic Salmon, or the Fried Fisherman’s Platter), and for dessert a choice between Boston Cream Pie or Key Lime Pie. So while the selections were good it would have been nice to have a wider range to choose from, especially on the appetizer end of things.
I decided to go with the Clam Chowder, Nutty Atlantic Salmon, and Boston Cream Pie. Our server, Susie was very prompt in greeting us and got our orders quickly underway even though by the time both my mother and I made our selections the dinner rush had gotten started.
Now, the Boston Clam Chowder was one of my mainstays when I worked for Legal’s back in the 90’s and if I had a bowl of it at least once a day that is conservative estimate. That stuff was Manna to me in my 20’s.
The soup is still good overall, its chock full of big pieces of clam, potato, and onion but the broth is incredibly thick and I was hard pressed to finish half of a cup let alone a full bowl! I’m not sure how I chugged this stuff like water way back when, all I can think is that my much higher metabolism back then coupled with a hectic lifestyle made it more palatable. Tasty to be sure but a bit too heavy for this now late 30’s mom who’s trying to scale back on the pounds.
I also got the chance to sample the House Salad (the benefits of dining with someone who shares!) and while it was a generous portion with a nice mixture of field greens, sunflower seeds, thinly sliced carrots, and cherry tomatoes it suffered from an overabundance of the (admittedly tasty) Creamy Romano Peppercorn Dressing. Had the dressing been scaled back a bit or served to the side the House Salad would have been a winner.
Now here is where Legal Seafoods shines! The Nutty Atlantic Salmon was beautifully presented with the almond encrusted fillets stacked on top of a bed of sauteed spinach surrounded by mushroom ravioli and topped with a sprinkling of capers. The salmon was cooked medium well, perfectly moist and very flavorful. The light lemon caper butter sauce was a perfect accompaniment to the ravioli and the salmon’s almond topping was wonderfully toasted and added just the right amount of crunch and flavor to the fish to compliment without overpowering. Hands down this was a fantastic dish, both in presentation and taste!
The portion on both of our entrees (my mother ordered the Baked Scrod) were very generous and even leaving a good sized amount on our plates we were both rather full by the time dessert rolled around. Even so, we were both disappointed to learn that both of the desserts featured on the HVRW menu were 86 for that night. The waitress was very accommodating and offered us a nice selection from their regular dessert menu. I went with the Chocolate Pudding Cake and my mother decided on the Bon Bons.
The Chocolate Pudding Cake was also something I remember from way back when and like the chowder was also something I found a bit too rich overall. I don’t doubt however, that a chocolate fanatic would find this hefty dollop of warm, soft cake, topped with chocolate sauce and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream presented on a macaroon right up their alley. Its a nice dessert and probably best tackled by two forks or by one person with a serious chocolate jones to feed.
All in all we walked away from our dinner satisfied in spite of some of the shortcomings we encountered. The restaurant itself is nicely laid out, tastefully decorated, and kept scrupulously clean. The atmosphere is conducive to dinner time conversation with the music not being too loud and the tables laid out in such a way as to keep the noise level down. The service staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. They also have an extensive wine selection available, something that is usually sorely lacking in the vast majority of chain restaurants. And above all, if my salmon was any indication, Legal Seafoods does fish right!
I will definitely be back again if for no other reason than to sample their wine flights and snack from their raw bar one of these evenings.