Last Tuesday, my wonderful bride-to-be and myself had dinner at 42 in White Plains. Hi. I’m guest blogger Paul Zagaroli. Most people cannot believe that I had not been there yet-especially since I live within walking distance. Needless to say I was excited, as I was when I found out 42 would be participating in Restaurant Week. The evening started in the grand lobby of the Ritz Carlton, as we took the ear-popping elevator ride up to the top. We were there early, anxious to catch the view before the sun went down-and as it was setting over the Long Island Sound. Of course the view was magnificent. I have not seen anything so spectacular since I was fortunate to dine at Windows On The World at the World Trade Center over ten years ago.
After taking in the surroundings, we started at the bar. Many people do not know that 42 offers a daily happy hour during the week that lasts until 8p.m. Specials such as $1 oysters and $5 glasses of wine are available which I believe to be quite reasonable. The bar was dimly-lit and wrapped in glass windows. A relaxing yet elegant atmosphere which allowed us to prepare for the main event. We were greeted by the server, who was very professional, with warm bread and the Restaurant Week menus.
Everything looked delicious however I had no trouble deciding what to order. As an appetizer, I ordered pork fried rice with braised pork belly and a poached egg. This was a far cry from the last time I had fried rice out of a styrofoam container! The dish arrived with the egg perched atop the portion of rice. My server suggested I stir the egg into the rice, as the yolk would flavor the rice. Of course I took her advice, and I loved how the yold added a thick, moist consistency to the already sticky rice. The bits of pork were crispy and added a crunch nutty component that tasted delicious and complemented the soft rice nicely.
For my dinner I had the skirt steak over creamy polenta with asparagus.
The skirt steak arrives on top of the polenta with the asparagus on the side. The polenta was creamy and pudding-like, not the dry cornbread type. The steak was cooked perfectly, not overdone and dry but was still slighly pink yet certainly not raw. There was no salt and pepper on the table but I did not need any since the flavor of the meat stood out on its own. The asparagus was simple and fresh. I was able to use the polenta as a sauce to liven up my veggies a bit.
Dessert was a real treat being I do not always order dessert after a dinner out. The chef served a chocolate mousse, infused with marshmallow with an extra layer of marshmallow on top. The marshmallow cut the intense flavor of the chocolate, but certainly did not take away from the sweetness. Our server explained to us the dish had been prepared using liquid nitrogen to chill the mousse. It arrived looking like a cake and started to melt and soften immediately. The liquid nitrogen was different and I was thrilled that I was able to enjoy a rather rare technique used by the chef. I was pleasantly surprised by the food, and will certainly be returning to 42. If you can still get a reservation I would certainly recommend-otherwise make sure you target 42 early next year on your places to visit list for restaurant week. Enjoy the photos!