By grace.g.yang ยท October 4, 2010
Under: American,Chinese,Desserts,Dinner,French,Michelin 2010 Guide,My Life,seafood,West Village

The year is almost over and I still have 20+ restaurants to visit before December 31st! Last Sunday, I met up with Sarah from Fritos and Foie Gras for a wonderful meal at Annisa. Sarah responded to my post requesting dining partners and we agreed to meet up at Annisa. Almost like a blind date! The space at Annisa is really intimate; it’s only one room with tables and then there’s a nice bar area when you first walk in with a couple of stools. Anita Lo actually opened up the space recently and brought in Feng Shui experts to pick the space, figure out seating, and make sure the restaurant would bring good luck (her last restaurant location burned down).

Sarah and I decided to order a la carte to try a little bit of everything – after we made our initial order, the server brought along an amuse bouche of escargot in a pastry shell:


The crispy fried pastry shell added just the right amount of crunch to the delicate and buttery escargot. It was Sarah’s first time trying escargot and I think she was pleasantly surprised that the snails weren’t rubbery or tasteless.

For our appetizer, we ordered the Seared Foie Gras with soup dumplings and jicama:


The soup dumplings at Annisa were very different from soup dumplings I’ve had at Joe Shanghai or Din Tai Fung; they had very little juice in them and were much larger than the your typical soup dumpling. However, they were filled with delicious broth jicama and topped with foie gras – we were both really glad that we added an additional soup dumpling to the order (only 3 come per order) because otherwise, we would’ve had to fight over the last dumpling!

For our second appetizer, we ordered the Barbecued Squid with Thai Basil and Fresh Peanuts:


The squid was actually very delicate and rested on a bed of edamame and boiled peanuts. There was also a piece of fried shrimp to contrast in texture and taste; while I enjoyed this dish, I thought the squid was served too cold (or too warm if the dish was supposed to be served cold).

For our main course, we ordered Veal Tenderloin and Sweetbread with Artichokes, Oyster and Black Truffle Sauces:


I told Sarah that I spent the previous evening at A Voce with another reader and had mentioned that everything was so salty but everything at Annisa was perfectly seasoned. The veal was tender and flavorful without being overcooked and the sweetbreads were melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Our second main course were scallops with sea urchin and loofah:


The scallops were pretty mediocre but the loofah was delicious (it has a similar look to cucumber but cooks much better and is used in soups and other dishes…my mom’s a big fan of the vegetable). The sea urchin sauce was good, but I would’ve preferred to actually had the texture of the scallop mixed with the urchin.

For dessert, we shared the Pecan and Salted Butterscotch Beignets with Bourbon Milk Ice:


I wasn’t a fan of the dessert; the beignets were too hard and the pecan just added to the toughness of the doughnut. Also, the bourbon milk ice was so strong in flavor that it really wasn’t enjoyable.

When our bill came, the server also brought along mignardises – guava pops, candied ginger, and chocolates with a chocolate mint ganace center:


The guava pops and chocolate mints were both light and delicious but the ginger was a little too strong for me.

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal at Annisa and would definitely return for an intimate dinner; the food has Asian influences but is traditionally American and French. Anita Lo wasn’t in the kitchen that night (she’s probably busy doing Top Chef, or Sunday’s are her day off) but I definitely plan on returning. Sarah is such a great person and we had so much fun talking about food, boys, and New York! You can read her account of Annisa on her blog here.

Annisa on Urbanspoon

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