“You’d think the kitchen was 1,200 miles from our table,” said MGDP (My Guy Dining Partner) after he had returned from our lunch. In reality, the distance from the kitchen to our table was about 20 feet, but it felt like 1,200 miles since it took forever and a day to receive our food.
Restaurant Week is upon us in this great city of ours. Some of the fanciest places in all the land welcome plebeians into their four walls to sample three courses of delicacies—for a reasonable $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. MGDP, MLDP (My Lady Dining Partner) and I decided to try 1200 Miles, located in Flatiron, for a deal meal.
The trouble started when the waiter came over about 10 minutes after our arrival to ask if we wanted sparkling or “De Blasio” water. “What’d he say?” asked MLDP. At the time, I laughed at this meagerly clever reference to New York City tap water, some of the finest in the country in fact. While the surly waiter retrieved our water, the three of us pored over the menu and selected our three courses.
Upon returning, waiter man asked for our orders, and I began. When I requested one of the dessert items on the list as my final course, he dismissed my request, saying, “We’ll get to that later.” In that instant, I knew we were heading into a two-hour lunch. And I was right.
I selected the gazpacho, which was green, had a definite kick and came with crunchy bits of croutons. It was delicious. MLDP opted for the tartine with summer tomatoes that tasted fresh and appetizing. MGDP got the wedge salad and he seemed delighted with his dish, although it didn’t look much like a true wedge salad to me (it was a few leaves of romaine [?] lettuce with some vegetables and a thick, murky sauce beneath the greens).
Fast forward 30 minutes later and our entrees finally arrived. I had already been routinely (and nervously) checking MGDP’s watch to see the time. By the time our second courses came, I had already informed them that I would be leaving after I finished my (very good) lasagna. The lasagna (not on their a la carte menu) did not feature sauce, but rather had an extremely dense ricotta flavor. It was served with baby vegetables (?) on the side. MLDP ordered the tuna salad and MGDP got the shaved lamb sandwich. Both dishes were met with satisfaction.
I’ll never know whether the 1200 Miles rendition of a chocolate-espresso parfait was worth trying because I didn’t stick around to have it. MGDP reported back that it was divine, adding insult to injury. But MLDP was rightfully upset with the 1.5 hours she had spent dining at 1200 Miles, and who could blame her?
You’ve probably noticed by now that I haven’t included photos in this post. While the food was excellent, the service was so poor—we didn’t even get bread to start while everyone around us did, for example—that I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone. I’m only writing about it because I wanted to warn you to never go here, especially if you’ve made plans for after your meal.
For the record, I’m not sure 1200 Miles should even be eligible as a Restaurant Week option since the menu isn’t that expensive and the confusing, off-putting decor surely doesn’t put it in the upper echelons of New York City fine dining.
31 West 21st St., between 5th and 6th avenues
Take the N/R to 23rd Street and walk south two blocks and turn right onto 21st. It’s halfway down the block, but, really, don’t go here.