We headed to Andrew Carmelini’s newest everyday French restaurant in NoHo after seeing Miss No Where Diner — an off-Broadway production that runs through Sunday, June 23 at the Robert Moss Theatre, as part of the Plant Connections Theatre Festivity. The 90-minute powerful play about faith by a trusting wife and deceit by the gambling husband, benefits NAMI – the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
To start, we had the refreshing Maine crab tartine ($13) of moist crab with a lemon aioli scented with fresh sorrel, tarragon and parsley on crisp toasts. A glass of La Fôret des Dames Sancerre ‘Rèserve Vieilles Vignes’ 2011, Loire ($15) was the perfect math.
We then shared two pasta dishes also worth the trip. Fleur de Soleil ($18) contains flower-shaped pasta with sugar snap and English peas, sauteed fennel, crispy pan-fried pancetta in a butter sauce with a touch of mint; and squid ink fettuccine with cockles, cuttlefish and shrimp with a chorizo butter sauce ($21).
Normally, I skip dessert – but being part of my long birthday celebration, we ordered their new decadent black forest flambe. That’s cherry ice cream studded with cherries and chocolate chunks atop chocolate sponge cake, all covered in meringue. When served, the waiter lit cherry-scented Grand Marnier and poured it over the dessert for a spectacular presentation. That and a lit sparkling torch that came with the comp burnt honey vacherin. That’s burnt honey nougat ice cream, crispy minty meringue with a mint sauce and apricot preserves served on a “happy birthday” inscribed plate. If you like celebrating birthdays, Lafayette is a fun place to do so.