Continuing with Liane Faulder's recent review of brunch places & restaurants, we decided to try out the newly relocated Skinny Legs & Cowgirls for dinner (after brunch at the NYBC). Telling our friends where it was located, proved to be slightly difficult at first, as they had just moved into their location a few weeks ago (we went end of February). However, knowing that Skinny Legs was now located beside the downtown Planet Organic made it much easier to locate as well as the tall woman's leg and high heeled shoe picture that we told our friends to look for.
One inside the restaurant, we were greeted with a wall of framed newspaper articles about the restaurant. While waiting for the server to seat us, I glanced briefly at the many articles suggesting a variety of dishes - from PEI mussels to coconut rice to a much raved about bread pudding. The restaurant pulsed with warm red tones, wooden chairs and tables and dimmed lightning. Patrons were just starting to trickle in, seeing it was around 6:00pm on a Saturday night. Seeing that the table across from us was eating off a huge wooden platter, Dan and I's interest about the menu was piqued. A quick glance at the menu suggested that we were looking at share plates for the whole table as serving sizes and the food around us indicated as much. As we waited for our friends, Dan and I observed an interesting sight. It seemed that Skinny Legs was running low on supplies, so staff was seen bringing in bags of pita chips, cartons of eggs, potatoes and other organic goods from their conveniently located neighborhood organic store - Planet Organic. It was quite interesting, as one only begins to wonder if they had a back door that may have been more appropriate, unless they were using it as a marketing ploy!
Regardless, once our friends arrived we quickly made a decision about what to order. We decided to go with the "Cowboy Platter - a carnivore's cornucopia" ($100) and the Seasonal Vegetable Platter ($25). We briefly considered the salad, but seeing another table's interesting display of their Caesar Salad, 4 hunks of romaine hearts (not ripped) drizzled with dressing, certainly did not whet our appetites for raw veg.
First dish - 4 succulent lamb chops, a rack of ribs, beef medallion, and pork tenderloin on a bed of scalloped potatoes. Shared between 4 people it was great. My table mates commented on the amazing mint sauce, and the seasoning on the lamb chops. I, however, liked the texture of the lamb, but felt that the intense mustard seasoning took away from the 'true' taste of the lamb. The scalloped potatoes were well done and tasty and so was the beef medallion. Food note: try not to get too carried away with the meat and try to taste each piece while hot!
2nd dish: Seasonal Vegetables. Sauteed mushrooms, mashed sweet potato, asparagus, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, and a lone bok choy.
This place also advertises itself as 'a sort of bistro'. I would agree mostly with that. My idea of a 'bistro' is a small cozy, bustling yet not like a traditional restaurant, and has a wine bar. While Skinny Legs did have the aesthetics for the 'bistro' atmosphere, it seemed to lack a bit in the wine bar department. Certainly there was a wine bar, but the position of the wine bar was also the only route to and from the kitchen, and for patrons leaving. So, although the wine bar was a good length, patrons could not sit down beside it or stand along the length of it for fear of being in 'the way'. Now, set-up usually works well in most bistro-like restaurants, but I'm not sure the patrons sitting next to the wine bar were overly enthused to have wine goers right above their heads, staff whizzing by and patrons attempting to leave. Equally so, wine-tasters didn't seem comfortable as they not only had no place to put their coats & purses (aside from the one chair they could squeeze gently out before it would be in the way), but a place to set their wine glasses down if needed.
Overall, the food was tasty, servers were attentive, but the tab was on the not-so-skinny side. 2 shared plates + 2 beers for 4 people was almost $150. So, probably not the regular go-to place for dinner, but a great suggestion for meat lovers, a twist from the usual bistro and home to unique share plates.
Skinny Legs & Cowgirls
12202 Jasper Ave.
also on Open Table