Well, it’s Restaurant Week in NYC, but don’t worry if you miss it. You can still get awesome nosh at a sleek Upper West Side spot for a cool $35. The prix fix menu at Compass restores one’s faith in fine dining on a budget. A few friends and I recently feasted on decadently rich mushroom soup, beautiful striped sea bass, and crunchy-creamy chocolate-peanut butter torte. But the coup de grace was that on Sunday nights, bottles of wine are half price! Their wine list is a wondrous: France is well represented, there are pages of California pours, and much, much more. Unfortunately, that wonderful wine list could ruin your budget meal, even at half price. Turning to my favorite Burgundy, Gevrey-Chambertin, I realized I could get the $300 bottle for only $150 that night. Still a little rich for my blood. So, here is my suggestion. Our quartet enjoyed a little gem of a Beaujolais, a 2005 Morgon, that had good fruit, elegant structure, and was thoroughly enjoyable with the bass. We drank two half-priced bottles, basically paying $46 for one and getting the other for free.
We felt thoroughly pampered, despite ordering off the prix fixe. There was a tasty amuse-bouche of lamb to start and four Lilleputian desserts--from a little cube of home-made marshmallow to tiny cookies--to finish. As we lounged at the table and waited for the check, we were shocked to receive yet another gift…each couple received a bag with two muffins. As our waiter explained, “And here’s something for tomorrow.” The next day, my friends and I all marveled at the delightful muffin that extended the pleasure of our visit to Compass.