Friday, July 20, 2012

Freelance Cafe & Wine Bar

Freelance Cafe & Wine Bar
506 Piermont Avenue
Piermont, NY 10968
Phone: 845-365-3250

Andy Ate Here Score = 48

Food: 10
Atmosphere: 9
Service: 10
Decor: 9
Relative Price: 10

This is what every restaurant should strive to be like. A couple points I want to make that I look for in the perfect restaurant with a focus on food and service.

When tasting food, I want my initial bite to blow me away, even if it a simple dish you think you could make at home, I want a flavor explosion! The second you take your first bite, flavor should jump off the plate or palate, you could say. I want this dish to be a size that doesn't make you upset that it's to small, but also not to much to make you full that you can't enjoy the rest of the meal or walk out on your own two feet. I always want to say "I wish I had one more bite" sometimes you get those small appetizers think to yourself should we order another one. That's what you want think.
What I look in service: 1) I never want my water glass to be empty this is my biggest pet peeve in the restaurant industry. NEVER make a person wait when they sit down for water or take their drink order should be like clock work. 2) I never like to use the same silverware for the next dish. If the restaurant is too cheap to give you clean silverware I don't consider it a restaurant worth going back too. Last, Every server has a job and yesterday at a simple little cafe we had 3 different servers waiting on us to perfection. No apologies no excuses every little detail executed like ninjas moving around seamlessly with no error just what you want to see.

                              First Course: Gazpacho w/ Lump CrabMeat $9

Swirling the garnish w/ crab created little chunky but smooth texture in this delicious starter.

             Sweetbreads w/ Lobster & Bisque sauce over Spinach puff pastry $13.50

Slice into the puff pastry found perfectly portioned spinach that mixed w/ the sweetbread & a piece of Lobster for one bite you want to come back to over and over again. This was comfort food at it's finest.

                                     Pasta Course: Mushroom Ravioli $10.50

Perfect example of a 10 score on Service & Food: Why? We asked at the beginning of meal that our third course we would like to split the pasta appetizer for two. So, they came out with two little bowls like above in front of each of us. No passing plates or dividing yourself. The Freelance staff thought ahead it is little touches like this just that put them over the top in my mind.

  Ravioli: Perfectly plump ravioli stuffed w/ minced porcini's in a port reduction sauce
                             Bread was soft & crisp baked perfect for dipping

                  Entree: Braised Short Ribs of Beef with a Chili and Onion Crust $22

Best Short Ribs I have ever had in my life, served w/ Parsnip Mousseline & Organic Carrot. Originally my wife and thought this was a brown sugar mashed potatoes under the Short Rib. In fact, the sweetness came from the Parsnip Mousseline, which you need to be an artist to make it. Here is an example from Daniel Boulud's Cookbook just so you understand what went in this dish creating such a beautiful pairing with the Short Rib that broke apart like butter.

Grenache/Syrah - Les Vines de Vienne, "Remeage", Cullieron-Villard-Gaillard, Rhone, France $12

We ask for a perfect wine to go with our last course again Freelance Staff did not let us down.  Server Paired our Short Rib with this Red wine he split into 2 glasses and charged us for one - $12 a great deal. He didn't try to sell us into 2 separate glasses he offered to split the pour for us to share. He said it was worth it we agreed and in the end made a great end to a great dining experience.

We ordered our last course to be split for two so no need to lean over one large plate. Trying to slice down the middle and move one's portion to her plate and mine. No need to worry at Freelance of course they gave each person their own plate, that look like the above. Perfectly sized and shared so in the end was like to plates for $11 for all that above is an example of a Perfect (Price score of $10) getting what you paid for and not feeling overcharged.

Soup - $9
Appetizer - 13.50
Pasta for 2 - $10.50
3 glasses of wine - $26 actually was like 4 glasses
consider the first 2 $7 each - $14 and we split $12 glass poured as 2 full glasses ;)
Entree - $22

Meal = $91 we gave a $20 tip because honestly they earned it was the best meal of 2012 for my wife and I so in the end was $111 total for 2.  We will forever remember this meal.

We saw another couple split a appetizer, entree, and 2 glasses of wine and leave satisfied. You could get in and out with 2 glasses for $14 2 appetizers for $22 and Entree $22 Meal = $58 plus tax $64 tip 20% around $76 to $80 for a $40 a person meal. Not a lunch you can afford to eat everyday, but well worth every penny. The goal of this blog is to find meals for 2 for under $100. This met all the requirements and really set the bar high for future meals to come.

Thanks for eating... I mean reading ;)

Andrew J. Iadeluca