Maneuvering around a flight of steps down to the C train we entered the crowed lounge of No. 7. A loitering line five couples deep blocked our view of the dining room so I send my BF to find out what kind of wait we had in store… he returned with a 30 minute estimate and a cocktail menu. Scanning the list I fumbled over the effervescent Lambrusco and into the Mango, Cilantro, Chipotle Vodka, Sparkling Lime cocktail ($11). The chipotle lingers like undercooked taro (but in the good way) and the cilantro fills the nose with every sip, but the sweetness (or lack thereof) from the mango was inadequate to tie the libation together. I was only 15 minutes into my drink when the hostess came over to tell us our table was ready.
Although we sat at what is probably the worst table in the house – next to the bread stations and bathroom hall – we were happy to be seating at all and we had a direct view into the spiffy bright white kitchen with the red bandana headed chef bobbing back and forth.
We were immediately presented with crusty bread and, be still my heart, a warm gooey white bean fondue and delicately thin and crunchy quick-pickles. When the waitress came over, with a friendly wave of my hand, I said “bring us every vegetarian dish” and then chugging my drink “and a Lambrusco!” Our table was promptly filled with 3 appetizers and a cool glass of wine –our waitress warned me it was a sweet bottle, which I loved despite the resemblance to Welch’s and day old club soda.
I was eager to get the “famous” Fried Broccoli ($7) in my mouth but I was sorely disappointed. From what I gather this is a middle of the country state fair kind of delicacy, and so if you grew up with this I’m sure No.7’s is fabulous; but this girl grew up refilling the ice bath for lacy tempura and so, to me, this dish tasted like a heavy over battered tempura. Continue reading