Solo at Cafe Sabarsky

I bought my father a gift certificate to Café Sabarsky for Christmas last year and he never used it. My parents came to visit NYC and the gift certificate sat at home. Obviously he had forgotten it and unfortunately it had an expiration date. So instead of coming to visit again they sent it back to me to use. Nothing like buying your own birthday present!

So Monday afternoon I realize the certificate is set to expire that day. I had just had a huge food weekend what with Five Points, Millieseme and Gramercy Tavern but I figured what the hell- I’m going anyway. I swear most brides-to-be try to lose 10 pounds before their wedding. I’ve decided to do the exact opposite and put 10 on.

So I went to Sabarsky right after work and got there around 4:45. I knew they closed at 6:00 on Mondays and the place was pretty empty already. I was able to get a table right by the window and I started out with a lovely glass of Gemischter Satz. This is a very crisp white wine with so much minerality and citrus it almost tastes effervescent. An excellent food wine and a perfect match for my entrée the Krabbensalat mit Avocado und Tomaten mit Zitronen-Vinaigrette.

Whoa when this thing arrived all I thought in my head was holy Guacamole! I was expecting some avocado but not a whole one right on top! The crabmeat salad lay underneath and was surrounded by some fresh radish, cucumber, tomato and micro greens.

I was wondering if this dish would be worth the $18 price tag and I would have to say yes. There were large mounds of sweet crab meat all dressed in a creamy lemon vinaigrette that was zesty and refreshing. Usually I don’t enjoy avocado in anything but dips but the texture here was so similar to the fish that it didn’t bother me.

As if that weren’t enough they brought over a bread basket which had about 6 lovely pieces inside. If the crab didn’t warrant the $18 price tag that bread certainly did.

After finishing that entire plate of food and two pieces of bread I was stuffed. I leaned back a little and pulled out the gift certificate and then remembered it was for $50. I still had a lot more money to spend. What’s a girl to do? My parents raised me to never waste anything and so gosh darn it I’m just going to have to suffer through some more fabulous food and drink.

This time I went red with a lovely glass of Wiener Trilogie and a traditional Café Sabarsky dessert the Klimttorte. I’ve had this Hazelnut Cake a few times now and while it’s delicious I don’t truly enjoy it as much as I used to. My tastes have changed and sometimes hazelnut becomes too much for me. I really wish they would bring back the Mozatorte sometime. That was my absolute favorite.

In the end though it really didn’t matter how good the food was. It came down to having a moment of pure and utter relaxation. As I sat there, glass of red wine in hand, listening to Mozart’s symphony playing overhead and staring out onto beautiful Central Park all was quiet and right with the world. I wasn’t thinking about how maddeningly exhausting work has been, how stressful wedding preparations have become or how completely crazy my life just seems in general. For one moment everything just seemed to stop and I was able to truly enjoy every single solitary moment. It was completely therapeutic and for that maybe I did deserve to buy my own present.

Cafe Sabarsky