Monday, February 4, 2008

Revival - Spirtually More Than Literally

Revival is a Nuevo-Caribbean themed restaurant in West Harlem. While I had passed it many times in my life, I never considered going in until recently when a friend and I had to compromise on an event we planned to attend but were more than a bit late for it. The restaurant is modern in decoration, with new fixtures and dark wood tables (covered in paper table cloths). That is where the success of this attempt to “revive” the Harlem Renaissance era food and culture ends. While Revival is promoted as a fixture in the new rejuvenation of the area’s food culture, it does little to support the area’s rich historical relevance and frankly diminishes the credibility of some other local restaurants which truly do support the movement through style and quality.

The silverware for our table reminded me of my school cafeteria, very cheap and dull with lack of shine. They seem like the type to be purchased at the
K-Mart in the annals of Penn Station. The glasses were standard, nothing special, and the table bread left a lot to be desired. I liken it to stale store bought cornbread. The menu is fairly diverse at first glance, however its side dishes lack the creativity required to make the menu more fun. Essentially everything comes with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables – not my idea of new age dining. The only semi-interesting feature of the menu, printed cheaply on resume paper, is their junior varsity attempt at pairing the weak wine selection with each meal.

I decided on the rack of lamb (with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables) which claims to be marinated and cooked to perfection. I disagree, however, because the food was heavily salted and grilled a little past the medium I asked for. I won’t even begin a tirade on the lack in availability of mint jelly (when I asked, the server looked as though I had just posed an existentialist query). The wine pairing was a dull pinot noir, which I found not at all engaging of the meat, particularly due to the lamb’s heavy salt content. The most memorable part of the meal was the martini I had as an appetizer – not bad at all. If I were to never come across this menu again, I would live.

-The UE

1 comment:

Marcus Mayo said...

Hilarious...I'm glad you tell us where to eat as well as where NOT to eat. Thanks Urbane Epicurean.