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Restaurant Week at Dovetail, Upper West Side

Dovetail, Upper West Side

When Restaurant Week announced its winter restaurants list, I was thrilled to see that Dovetail was participating. Located on the Upper West Side, Dovetail is Chef John Fraser’s one Michelin star restaurant and has been on my to try list for a while. They’re known for their contemporary American cuisine and seasonal, vegetable-focused menus. On a regular day, it’s a bit of a splurge, but an excellent special occasion restaurant for both vegetarians and non-veggie eaters.

It was very empty when I visited for Restaurant Week lunch on a Thursday. This was clearly due to the snow, and I was tempted to cancel my reservation. It really was the worst day to step outside, but it’s not everyday that a Michelin star restaurant offers a 100% vegetarian 3-course lunch for $25. I had to do it! I saw on Yelp that some diners were initially disappointed that the RW menu was vegetarian, but most of them ended up being impressed by the food anyway.

Dovetail, Upper West Side

Upscale and classy with lovely background music. Depending on the clientele, I wouldn’t be surprised if this place feels a bit snobby at times, but was very comfortable while I was there. The service was excellent and friendly. They seemed to be extra attentive, which was likely due to me dining alone. Yep, it’s just me and my sketchbook on a romantic lunch date.

Dovetail, Upper West Side

My meal started with a fantastic piece of corn bread. I normally don’t like corn bread, but this was tasty. A balance of savory and sweet, plus the exterior had the best crunch.

I had a tough time deciding on what to order for my appetizer and entree. Too many vegetarian options that all sounded delicious. I settled on the Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms with sunchoke, Asian pear, and seaweed vinaigrette. That seaweed vinaigrette had a really interesting flavor. The mushrooms were tasty, but the stems were a bit too tough.

King Trumpet Mushroom, Dovetail

For my entree, I ordered the Butternut Squash Manicotti with maitake mushrooms (more mushrooms for the mushroom monster!), walnut pesto, and preserved lemon. Absolutely delicious, sinful even. This was very rich and full flavored, especially that pesto, but when the richness seemed like too much, the tartness of the lemon shines through. They could probably cut back on salt without sacrificing the flavor, but this was really tasty.

Butternut Squash Manicotti, Dovetail

For dessert, I considered getting the Devil’s Food Cake, but decided that the Coffee Semifreddo with dulce de leche, kumquats, and almonds would be a more unique dish.

Coffee Semifreddo, Dovetail

First of all, what a beauty! Such beautiful presentation and combination of flavors. The coffee and dulce de leche were light, yet addictive. One thing I absolutely loved was how the flowers at the table matched my dessert, but that’s my designer heart geeking out over pretty colors.

Coffee Semifreddo, Dovetail

I ordered the Wild Chrysanthemum tea to go with dessert. This was okay. The chrysanthemum flavor was light, but then again, I’m a tea addict and accustomed to strong teas.

Coffee Semifreddo, Dovetail

There are a lot of Yelp reviewers that complained about still feeling hungry after 3-courses at Dovetail. Those stories usually end with them going to Shake Shack next door. I thought the RW menu, which tends to have smaller portions, was extremely filling. The food is rich and full flavored… I don’t think I could handle more than those 3 dishes. I really hope to come back here soon. Maybe for their Monday vegetable focused dinner menu.

Oh, and there was one review on Yelp that really amused me. One guy was still hungry after the RW lunch, so he ordered another round of the 3-course lunch. Hah, that’s the way to do it!

Dovetail, Upper West Side

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No Comments

  • Reply
    brugesvegan
    April 14, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    From your description, sounds like it was all vegan, no?
    25$ is really cheap! I don’t know any michelin restos that go below 35€ here.

    • Reply
      wazwu
      April 14, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      The manicotti had some cheese, and I’m not sure if they used egg in the pasta. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the dessert had some cream in it. They might be able to do all vegan if you request it though! :)

      Yeah, the $25 Restaurant Week lunch promo is a great deal. I wish more restaurants would participant in the program!

  • Reply
    Delicious Peace of Mind
    April 15, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Since John doesn’t like mushrooms, you compensate for him! :) Food looks really yummy and I love the fact you’ve taken more photos! :)

    • Reply
      wazwu
      April 15, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Hehe, I’m always happy to eat more mushrooms! One reason I’ve been taking more photos lately is because I’m doing more lunches. Better, natural lighting. :)

      • Reply
        Delicious Peace of Mind
        April 16, 2015 at 6:51 am

        Lunches + better lighting = more photos! Me likey! :)

        • Reply
          wazwu
          April 16, 2015 at 9:54 am

          And at many restaurants, lunch is much cheaper even though it’s exactly the same food as dinner! ;)

          • Delicious Peace of Mind
            April 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm

            That’s odd. Why is that? :)

          • wazwu
            April 19, 2015 at 9:47 am

            Probably don’t have many customers at lunchtime. Trying to drum up more business? I’m not sure.

  • Reply
    annie lee
    April 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    wow, all the dishes are so beautifully presented :) i would’ve loved that entree dish – i’m a huge mushroom monster too!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      April 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Everything there was so pretty. I’d love to go back for the full tasting menu, but it’ll definitely be a splurge. Yay, mushroom monsters unite! ;D

  • Reply
    Mitzie Mee
    April 16, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Such a beautiful dessert and the colors matches the flowers on the table. So classy:)
    To me the portion-size also seem fine, but of course you live in in the land of super-sized servings..:)

    • Reply
      wazwu
      April 16, 2015 at 9:55 am

      I got so excited when the dessert arrived and matched the colors of the flowers. ;) You would think that most people realize that a Michelin star restaurant is not going to super-size your order, lol.

  • Reply
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