Vanderbilt Ave's New Beast
I had no time to cook dinner amidst all the packing I had to do right before vacation. What a perfect excuse to try a new restaurant!
So I finally got around to trying Beast, a place that opened this year on Vanderbilt Avenue's burgeoning restaurant row.
A decidedly neighborhood restaurant, the front room with the proverbial exposed brick wall, was cozy and gave off a slight midieval feeling -- something that in my mind went along with the mystical beast theme. Past the open kitchen is an uninspired back dining room. I would recommend eating in the front room or outside if possible.
Although Beast claims to be a tapas bar, the servings are large enough to qualify as entrees, which makes the prices quite reasonable. I started off with a disappointing smoked trout salad. The lettuce was soggy, the dressing bland and the trout not very smoked. The next dishes, short ribs braised in beer and skirt steak with a creamy citrus sauce, really hit the mark. The ribs were delicate and tender and contrasted wonderfully with the crunchy spring vegetables they sat on while the skirt steak was done just right and was enveloped by the perfectly balanced sauce.
The show stopper for me was the lemon tart dessert with a real fruit taste and tiny bits of grated lemon zest that left me wanting to go back for more.
Beast is located at 638 Bergen Street at Vanderbilt Avenue, (718) 399-6855.