Having spent a few days at Executive Le Soleil Hotel close to Times Square in NYC, we were curious to try the in-house restaurant and coffee shop that we had also been recommended. Walking past it several times, it seemed like a lively place with a pleasant atmosphere and the menu spiked our attention.
Upon arrival we were designated a very cozy booth mostly shielded from the rest of the tables. The setting of Trademark was a large feature bar in the center with tables and booths sprinkled around. The music was quite loud and the venue had a buzzing atmosphere on the Friday evening we chose to dine there. I personally enjoy intimate booths to share meals, the only setback in this case was the tight squeeze to get in and out to sit down even for a slim person.
The menu was inventive and interesting so we spent a while musing the different choices laid out for us. The dishes must have sparked our appetite as we ended up ordering quite a royal sized selection of dishes. The fried green tomatoes and flatbread with gouda salami, grilled corn and mozzarella was a daily starter and side that our friendly waitress Debbie sold us on. She also recommended the hanger steak and tuna pokÃ© bowl, a recommendation we gladly followed as well as ordering the hot smoked wild salmon and extra sides of crispy yukons and cacio e pepe soft polenta.
A palatable non-alcoholic cocktail is quite rare to find on any restaurant menuâ€™s choices, but Debbie had options ready like a virgin mojito. And going even further she offered that the bartender could create a custom made one if I wanted. Of course I jumped on that option and ordered sparkling water with cucumber, fresh mint and lime.
Soon the table started filling up with dishes as if we were trying to create a modern version of the fresco â€œThe Last Supperâ€. Considering American sized portions we quickly realised that we really had ordered too much for two people to eat. But with the delicious looking dishes, we knew we were definitely going to enjoy ourselves regally until the point of possibly passing out.
The flatbread was essentially an adaptation of a thin crusted pizza both visually and taste wise. The corn brought a sweet touch to the salty spiciness of the salami, whose gouda inserts were more of a friendly cameo than a staple piece. The Tuna PokÃ© was exceptional with itâ€™s silky texture, sweet avocado purÃ©e and softly sour vinaigrette. The macadamia nuts and the spicy crackers were a nice addition. The Cacio e pepe, soft polenta was an interesting and predictably peppery transposition of the classic Italian cacio e pepe recipe (which literally means cheese and pepper) where the pasta is replaced with polenta.
The wild salmon was deliciously juicy with perfectly crispy skin on a bed of brown rice. On the side was beetroot yoghurt, creating a very interesting, but tasty ensemble. The 8 oz Hanger steak, that was recommended, was cooked exactly as requested, and its lean yet tender texture was nicely accompanied by a well executed herb butter.
Even though we were extensively full after this brilliant food parade, we could not help ourselves and went for desserts as well. The hot fudge sundae with marshmallow ice cream and malted chocolate was delicious. The amount of hot fudge wasn’t extensive and the caramel popcorn was a perfect choice of topping. Pastry chef, Simone Lyma, provided perfect warm chocolate chip cookies with cream on the side.
Even though I was seduced by their home baked charm, our stomachs were already overwhelmed with lovely impulses, so Debbie offered that we could have the last cookie wrapped up to take with us. We had an overall remarkable culinary experience at Trademark and look forward to our next visit.
Photography by Edouard Lombard