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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Keeping It Classy on the UES

Several months back, a blogger friend of mine, Mami’s Time Out, shared with me a $50 gift certificate to Bruno Jamais.  I completely forgot about it until I came across it the other day, and saw the expiration date was quickly approaching.  So I invited my friend Dory out for dinner on the Upper East Side.

I was a little hesitant about heading to Bruno Jamais, only because the menu online had entrees in the upper $30s to high $40s and even with a gift certificate, knew it was going to be an expensive night out.  But when I got to the restaurant, I was surprised to see that most entrees were less than $20 and Bruno Jamais recently launched a great Surf and Turf deal on Monday nights, which we had to take advantage of.

We started off the night with some Diet Cokes, because even though wine bottles were 50% off on Mondays, the cheapest bottle may have been around $80.  I’m a boxed wine kinda gal, so we decided to pass and go with the soda.  While our prie fixe dinner came with a salad, we decided to start with an order of crab cakes, even though the waiter warned that this may be a lot of food.

The crab cakes were shaped like tater tots, and they were delicious.  Dory and I both liked that they were bite size.  With our crab cakes came our chef’s salad.  Clearly in my old age I’m turning into my dad and have a bit of a hearing problem because I thought he said the salad was going to be a “gazpacho.”  I thought it’d be refreshing to have a nice cold soup that I read all about in Spanish classes in high school (even though I was at a French restaurant) but he meant carpaccio.  Dory and I were a little unsure how to eat it, but it tasted pretty good and was covered in delicious pesto.  We could taste huge hunks of parmesan which was wonderful.

Next came our surf and turf.  For $26.95 we were able to enjoy filet mignon, pommes frites, Maine lobster and this balsamic rice dish.  Everything was absolutely wonderful.  My filet was perfectly cooked and tasted great when paired with the fries.  I was worried I wouldn’t like the balsamic rice, but it had the consistency of a risotto, and was delicious with the lobster meat served over it.

Dory and I debated whether or not to get dessert, but with the gift certificate helping us pay the bill, we figured hey, lets splurge.  We went for the Crumble, which was like an apple crisp.  It was excellent and had just been taken out of the oven, but was strangely paired with a raspberry sorbet.  According to Dory, “the two flavors just didn’t match” but we were impressed that the sorbet tasted home made because it had a sour aftertaste.  Instead of the raspberry sorbet, we both would have preferred a vanilla ice cream.

Even with the $50 gift certificate, dinner still came to about $40 bucks a piece with tip – those $7 diet cokes really set us back. Still, I had a great time with Dory, the food was wonderful and for that surf and turf deal, I’d definitely head back on a Monday.  If you decide to go, keep in mind that reservations are required and the dress code is “chic”.

The Basics
Name: Bruno Jamais
Location: 24 E. 81st Street (between Madison and 5th)
Who to take: Parents, Date
Price: Almost like going to restaurant week $$$$
Overall:  Excellent, but wish it was a tad less expensive.  4 stars.

Bruno Jamais on Urbanspoon

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