We found Magnolia Bistro as Jill dragged me, if not kicking and screaming, then surely reluctantly, out of the Farmers Market and away from the enticing aromas of prepared-food vendors’ offerings. New York’s greenmarkets are limited to baked goods, cheeses, and canned goods such as pickles and jams, so I was curious. And hungry. (Waking up in a wet tent will do that to you.) In my book, tamales and samosas would’ve made an excellent breakfast, but Jill insisted on coffee first; pre-caffeine, I’m less belligerent than usual and acquiesced with minimal grumbling.
We spotted the restaurant’s sign as we crossed the street; that certified-green claim might’ve gotten Jill in the door, but a quick glance at the menu posted in the window and I was sold on something much more simple: house-made citrus-salt–cured salmon.
I was only further convinced by the phrases “dill crème fraîche” and “hash brown.” (You can’t see the latter in the picture above, but rest assured it’s there.)
It was my intention to have something small and light, so I’d have room for farmers’ market fare on the second go-round. Our kind waitress assured me that the portion size of this dish would accomodate my goal, even with potatoes in play, but someone forgot to share that information the chef.
My plate fairly groaned with a generous heap of fish, and once you factored in the poached egg I’d requested on the side—all salads are improved with a poached egg—I was done for the morning.
Jill, on the other hand, showed admirable restraint. She fed her latke fascination with an order of these lovely little potato pancakes, applesauce and sour cream on the side. While nicely spiced, they were a bit too thick for our taste, without enough exterior crunch to fully redeem them.
They did, however, go perfectly with my salmon.
One Lawson Lane