Friday, October 17, 2008

Walking the Plank

If you ask me, there isn’t enough fish served on a plank in this city. But luckily, this is exactly what I enjoyed at Gemma. Gemma is one of those places I’ve walked by a number of times but never managed to stop in for a meal. Either the place was packed, or the time was off, etc. This time, it was around 6pm on a Saturday, and although my fiancé and I are relatively young folks, we tend to enjoy earlybird dinner hours. Just one of those things…

For our meal, we decided to start by sharing an order of spaghetti with pomodoro sauce. The spaghetti was deliciously al dente, and the tomato sauce was slightly creamy and garlicky. I think the creaminess came from the olive oil mixed with the tomatoes, and perhaps a hint of parmigiano cheese and basil mixed in. Very tasty.

For my main course, I ordered the Branzino cooked and served on a cedar plank, with a side of string beans. The filet was perfectly seasoned – with just enough salt and aromatic spices, and the flavor that the cedar plank infused into the fish added a perfect smoky taste that I rarely experience in seafood. And the beans, though cooked, still had a nice bite to them, and they had a really good garlic and oil sauce on them as well.

My fiancé ordered the cod over Sardinian couscous and spinach. The cod was cooked perfectly – moist and flaky, and the couscous was like none I have ever tried. It seemed to be more like mini versions of the dumplings you might find in a southern chicken and dumplings dish. They were delightfully gummy, and the dish came in a lemon butter sauce that added nice taste to everything.

No dessert needed after this hearty meal. We left feeling satiated, but not overwhelmingly full, and I would definitely return to try some more of their dishes.

Gemma, 335 Bowery, 10003

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