I’ve been a fan of Marcus Samuelsson for years. Ever since I attended New York Restaurant Week (this was probably 9 years ago) and I tasted his amazing dishes at Aquavit. Imagine my excitement when I heard he was opening up a casual restaurant at Lincoln Center.
American Table is located at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, right across the street from The Lincoln and Indie Food and Wine. American Table is has taken up the lobby of Alice Tully, enclosed in glass and following the architectural traditions of The Lincoln and the Apple store just a few blocks away. This creates a dynamic atmosphere, where one can sit and people watch. I recently picked up take out the other day and was able to keep an eye on my dog as I waited for my meal.
American Table is set up as a self-service restaurant. On my first visit, I walked up to the bar and saw an iPad that prompted “Order Here”. What I did not see was the fine print that said “not here”. Definitely worked as a conversation starter. We perused the menu, ordered, and were given a number so that our food could be delivered to us. We picked a table and sat down.
The wine selections at American Table do not disappoint. Sure, the prices on some choices are a bit steep, but it is after all Lincoln Center and New York City. I am just thrilled that the wine by the glass selections were good. We both chose the Hanging Vines Chardonnay from Lodi at $9 a glass. It sells for about $12 at a wine shop (per bottle), so the mark up is just right. Like I said, pretty standard for NYC.
The food came out very quickly. I opted for the scallop sausage curry with water chestnuts, and charred scallions ($17). It was divine. The scallops were thinly sliced (which created an illusion of plenty). They were also impeccably prepared. The char on the scallops had a slight sweetness that complimented the curry. The charred scallions added both texture and flavor. I devoured the soup. The only thing I would suggest to make it better is to serve a baguette from Epicerie Boulud so I could easily sop up all its goodness.
Antonio opted for the roasted chicken on baguette, with chicken liver spread, and spicy pickled vegetables ($12). It was basically a chicken bánh mì. The bread it was served on was not a “baguette”. The bread had none of the crustiness of a true baguette, but it worked. The chicken liver used in the sandwich is spectacular. While I prefer the bánh mì at Epicerie Boulud, Antonio liked it better at American Table.
I returned a few days later for take out. The place was jam packed with people attending the film festival. Service was still quick and friendly. I picked up the roasted chicken on baguette (as per Antonio’s request) and the BBQ pork sliders with apple slaw ($12). Both were good, although I may recommend other items for take out. The bread got a little soggy on my sliders (which was to be expected on my walk home). The flavor on the sliders was superb, and I can’t wait to go back this week and try them in house.
American Table is located at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall 1941 Broadway at 65th Street in New York’s Upper West Side.