Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

BISTRO LA PROMENADE, 461 West 23rd Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenue), Chelsea

I’m still secretly working my way through Time Out’s 100 Best list and just like previous years, I get bummed when I can’t try a dish that’s been featured. I don’t kick and scream like I used to because I’m no longer publicly embarrassed as a total failure. Instead, I calmly choose something else on the menu that sounds promising.

The funny thing is that in this case, I think I already tasted Time Out’s list item. We came to this modern French bistro about a year ago when it was called La Promenade des Anglais. But not much has seemed to change here. The acclaimed chef Alain Allegretti is still holding court, the interior still feels like a fancy cruise ship, and the menu items are rather familiar.

This time around, the waitress told me the zucchini flower beignets (Time Out’s choice) were currently out of season, so they were unavailable (yet the printed menu still features them). I’m pretty sure we tasted these on our previous visit – they sound like something we would have ordered. But if we did order them, they must not have been terribly memorable.

Whipped Ricotta at BISTRO LA PROMENADE

I’m sure we did not order the whipped ricotta the first time around because I’m positive I would have remembered this dreaminess. The homemade cheese was reminiscent of a beautiful cloud. It had a light airiness that was a perfect addition to crusty grilled bistro toast. Drizzled with a restrained bit of honey and topped with thyme and salt, the flavors were subtle, refined, and unforgettable.

So I didn’t get the dish I came for, but I discovered one that was potentially even better. Disappointments can sometimes yield wonderful surprises. Does that make me any less of a failure? Let’s not answer that one.

BISTRO LA PROMENADE
461 West 23rd Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenue),
Chelsea
(212) 255-7400
lapromenadenyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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