I was sitting here thinking about the loss of Anthony Bourdain. I never got to meet the man in person but mutual friends of his and mine would come here on occasion to have a shot, talk about life and enjoy good food. To that end Anthony, I lift my glass to you – and to the lives of the people you’ve changed. “Sláinte mhaith.”
Sometimes a restaurant has to undergo more than one reincarnation before it can call itself alive again. In this case; I believe The Place is alive and well. The Place has been The Place – twice.
Located at the corner of Lexington and Ashland; the restaurant immediately shows off one of its most prized possessions – PARKING! Yep, it has a parking lot. In this section of the Village – that’s a big deal. But man (kind) does not live by parking alone so let’s go inside.
The interior is finished in green and brown tones of wood and leather with green plaid accents, wood floors and clapboard ceilings. It’s really very simple and elegant, spacious when you need room and intimate when you need that too. A copper-clad bar spans the length of the dining area and offers a good selection of whiskeys and bourbons as well as a talented bartender who seems to match the décor. It’s almost as if he came with the design plans. (Nice guy by the way). Instead of whiskey, as the occasion would call for, I opted for a shot of Zamir “Peacemaker” Vodka to offer up a toast.
The lunch menu at The Place is short, sweet and to the point – 22 items including soups, sandwiches, and salads. My adventure started with Steamed Clams ($11.00), a gluten free item with Andouille sausage, leeks and sun-dried tomatoes in a white wine sauce. The dish arrived and was beautifully presented. The clams had good texture and tasted of dry wine. The Andouille had a nice earthy, umami favor and the sun-dried tomatoes had a sweet-smoky taste that I loved. Separate they were great, however, when they came together in the broth – they were not. The Andouille, together with the clams, made the broth too salty. Pulling back on the salt; it would have been a really great dish.
Next on my list was a basic staple – the Turkey Club sandwich ($12.00). It consisted of lettuce, tomato, bacon, American cheese, and mayo on, for me, wheat bread. Any triple decker sandwich is a challenge and this one definitely was. But it held together well and tasted – amazing! I know, I know – it’s just a turkey sandwich – but believe me; it will make you smile and want to order it again. For my side dish I opted for a house salad. It was no slouch house salad with cubed cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and Russian dressing. I was totally happy with the dish.
The Place offers daily dinner specials ($17) as well as their regular dining menu which includes prepared items such as Salmon, Pork Chops, Steak, Chicken and Eggplant.
For me, a comfortable place to have a nice cold beer and a deli-sandwich makes it – The Place – to be.
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