Thursday, February 25, 2010

Megu Midtown

Megu in Tribeca is supposed to be quite the hot spot, so I thought I knew what to expect at the midtown Megu outpost in the Trump Tower across from the UN. But snow and sleet have a tendency to keep people shackled inside, and for a work lunch during the last days of Restaurant Week (well, more like a month than a week!), we were pleasantly surprised by the relatively empty dining room. 

Makes for more personalized service, if you ask me!

I called Megu in advance to see if they provided vegetarian alternatives on their Restaurant Week menus, and they informed me that there was indeed a separate veg menu from which to choose my lunch, a la` Spice Market (which I frequented again a few weeks ago for their prix fixe!) and I couldn't have been more pleased. Maybe it was only for the downtown restaurant, because this was not the case with the Midtown branch- however, the helpful waiter suggested removing salmon from the appetizer salad and using vegetable rolls for the sushi roll combo. Though not particularly creative options, they were solid options that filled my belly nonetheless!

The Oriental salad, sans salmon, was a combo of julienned vegetables in a sesame seed-lime dressing, served over a bed of seven different types of nuts. I don't think pignoli is necessarily an authentic Japanese ingredient, but the sesame-lime dressing kept the nuts flavorful- I'm sure the original concept was probably to pair the nuts with the salmon. I then enjoyed a generous serving of vegetarian sushi rolls- oshinko, asparagus, and cucumber-avocado. Presented in an oversized, beautifully painted serving dish, Megu definitely gets points for presentation. And score number two for me, the dessert menu in Midtown offers ladies only a choice of two desserts, half servings, for the prix fixe- our waiter explained that because Megu midtown was mostly frequented by male UN employees, they wanted to give the ladies a little something enticing. I wasn't arguing. I balanced out a light panna cotta with lemon sauce with some some "seasonal" fruit- I love my strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple, but seriously, these are not in season, and I just don't understand why restaurants insist on calling them such.

We left Megu full, satisfied, and ready to face the wet, blinding snow on our way back to office. I enjoyed my lunch as much as I enjoyed the sweet prix fixe discount at the normally overpriced resto. Despite all that, I would still tell my vegetarian and vegan friends to look elsewhere- the options are here, but considering the prices you'd pay for dishes that you can find at any good Japanese restaurant in the city, you're better off visiting a less expensive place. Even the outstanding Sakagura and Kyo Ya are more reasonably priced, and you get a far more authentic, and less trendy, experience.

Megu, Trump World Tower at 47th Street and 1st Avenue, 212-964-7777

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