A Sweet Spot in the City: Manhattan's Ça Va Brasserie
Chicken meatballs with truffled honey. Heirloom tomato salad with crispy white anchovies, avocado mousse, and honey-lime vinaigrette. And braised short rib of beef with honey-glazed root veggies. Sense a theme here?
For years, I have been the human version of Pooh Bear when it comes to honey. I. Love. It. So when I found out that one of Mark's and my favorite Times Square restaurants — Todd English's Ça Va Brasserie — was offering a honey-themed menu during our visit, I was as happy as a handbag junkie during a Kate Spade flash sale. (Ça Va is located in the Intercontinental Hotel just off of Times Square, and the hotel has it's own bee hives, which is why it was offering a honey menu.)
So why is the belle writing about indulgent food, you ask? Well, I am the first to tell you that one of the reasons why I workout as hard as I do is to eat the things I enjoy. I like wine, cheese, beef, and butter. But I eat salads for much of the week so that I can also enjoy occasional, amazing meals. Heck, enjoying fine food is as much a part of my mental well being as rest and exercise. And I own that.
Now, I have to start out by saying that Ça Va did provide a few extras (such as a few wine pairings and a modified tasting menu to allow us many tastes), but Mark and I did foot most of the bill.
We visited the restaurant on a Sunday evening and were paired with the amazing Neil, who guided us through our sweet adventure. Our palates were pleased with the meatballs, the salad, the spare ribs, and scallops (pictured above) — all paired with exquisite wines selected by our wise waiter. The finishing touch was cheese complemented with a few spoonfuls of the hotel's honey (pictured below), which was delicious on its own.
Although the honey tasting menu is a seasonal offering, this nosh spot is a "fit" for me anytime of the year. Other must-tries include the roasted Mediterranean sea bass and the seared diver scallops.
For me, the mark of a good restaurant is when every dish tastes as beautiful as it is plated — and when the waiter or waitress is as excited to tell you about the food as you are to eat it. Every time I've eaten at Ça Va, this has been the case. And that's why Mark and I decided to return for dinner the second night of our trip — completely on our own dime.