The Inn LW12
Last night Bo had a dinner gathering with some friends, so Co suggested that she and I hit the Meatpacking District and get us some poutine! Yeah, not really. The poutine was actually my idea... but once Co figured out what the heck I was talking about, she was more than game. And so to the spanking-new Inn LW12 we went, enjoying a consistently satisfying and tasty meal amidst the earliest of the MePa hordes.
In case you haven't heard, poutine is classic French-Canadian comfort food, and in its purest form consists of
1. french fries;
2. brown gravy;
3. melted curd cheese.
It's not a subtle dish... which fit right in with everything else about our meal, starting with the atmosphere in the bar area, which was loud and desperate, even at 7:30. Apparently there were no tables in the supposedly more sedate "canoe room" upstairs, though Co ran some recon and expressed her enthusiasm for the decor, including the Native American garb pinned to the wall.
Anyway, the food. We started with the succulent Crispy Pig's Trotter (read: feet), which was breaded and pressed and fried and served with dabs of dijon mustard, frisse and a peppery pile of French lentils. This was an excellent dish, especially the intense, prosciutto-like shavings of smoky pig scattered about the plate.
Then it was on to the main course, for which we split a Grilled Lamb Burger with chickpea fries. Heeding Restaurant Girl's disappointing experience with a too-dry patty, we ordered ours medium rare, and it arrived plenty juicy, plenty fatty, plenty rich. Fearing too much heat, I asked for the harissa mayonnaise on the side, but I needn't have worried, as the condiment was, if anything, too tame for the dish. But no matter, as Co and I were by now far too distracted by our just-arrived plate of poutine. We opted for the Classic—it's also served vegetarian style, or with spicy pork belly, or with braised beef and stilton—and it was large, crunchy, chewy, saucy, salty, totally addicting, totally delicious. Really? If this was all we had ordered for dinner, we would have walked away happy and full.
We were now thoroughly stuffed, but there was Sticky Toffee Pudding on the dessert menu, and we were helpless. Though not quite as good as the version at Schiller's (and not even close to the one Debbie and I had at Andrew Edmonds in central London), this is still a highly respectable entry into the genre: dense, gooey, more molasses-y than most, unbelievably sweet.
The Inn LW12 is in the townhouse on the southeast corner of Little West 12th Street and Ninth Avenue. In what I presume to be an attempt to heighten the anonymous-hence-coolness quotient, the signage outside still says Rio Mar, the building's previous tenant.