BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO
Delicatessen is known for being a NYC eater’s favorite stop for their lobster mac and cheese, but unknown to the general public if you slink your way through the crowd and down the stairs hidden in plain view you will find yourself in an entirely different atmosphere.
Entering the downstairs dining area of Delicatessen you find yourself surrounded by bright lights and a green seating area. Looking for a taste of their signature cocktail of the night, I made my way to the mini bar tucked away down a short hallway near the bathroom area. Once inside the dimly lit bar I admired the dark décor featuring black walls lined with a variety of glass bottles.
While waiting for the bartender to make me a “Tilly,” fresh strawberries and lime muddled together with pomegranate and Satisfaction vodka, a line quickly developed behind me and didn’t dissipate until the end of the night. This cocktail was amazing to say the least, you could barely taste the alcohol, which makes it dangerous for the careless drinker. The flavors of the mint, strawberry and pomegranate meshed well making for the perfect summer cocktail.
I decided to take a seat in the mini bar area, which could hold up to 20 seated guests. Soon after I was joined by a fellow food blogger and the waiters began to bring out the long awaited sampling menu. We first sampled the Flash Fried Tuna Avocado Roll ($14) which came with a creamy sambal chili sauce. My acquaintance, who is not a fan of tuna, loved this dish. We had to have about three pieces each, it was so good.
Next we had the Tempura Mozzarella and Tomato Salad. The tempura mozzarella added a different texture element that was unexpected, but greatly appreciated. After about four samplings of the mozzarella and tomato, we received the Pork Mole Tacos ($11). The pork in the tacos was so juicy that I needed two napkins, but I am not complaining.
While we didn’t get to try the Smoked Chicken Tacos ($11) that we had read about in the sample menu, we did receive a sample of the Sweet Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps ($10). I found these a bit difficult to eat as they were tiny and the juice from the chicken dripped everywhere. The chicken was sweet with a hint of spice, I would have liked them a bit more if they were bigger and less messy, but I have no complaints about the flavor.
Next we got a chance to sample three desserts off of the new menu. First we tried the Cheesecake Lollipop, which is included in their “Hostess” Dessert Plate ($9). The Cheesecake Lollipop was coated in white chocolate and the cheesecake filling was smooth and a bit lemony. Following the cheesecake was the Chocolate Layer Cake ($10), this was your basic chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache, very rich and dense. Last but certainly not least was the Maple Bacon Beignet ($9). I had been waiting for this since I arrived and I was not disappointed. This dessert combined two of my favorite things bacon and crème anglaise. The beignet was kind of like a bacon donut and the bourbon crème anglaise that they served on the side for dipping was the perfect glaze for that donut.
Though this was my first time visiting Delicatessen it certainly will not be my last.