Last week I received an email from Resto about their two year anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 11th with a slow-roasted piggy in a La Caja China Box. Unfortunately we were out of town for Easter but we wanted to go congratulate Christian when we returned home.

First time we visited Resto was four days after they opened in April of 2007. We were lucky enough to be seated at the Chef's Table ( no longer available) in the kitchen inches away from the chef's prep area. Back then Chef Ryan Skeen from Portland, Oregon was in charge of the kitchen but about a year ago Chef Skeen left for Irving Mill and the new Chef Robert Hellen took over the helm at Resto.

We have been to Resto quiet often because it's only few blocks from where we live. It's always nice to have a place nearby to go grab a great burger and a beer. At our last visit we started our meal with the Moules Frites - ommegang witte, garlic, orange zest and with yogurt, cumin & roasted garlic sauce for frittes for $19. Owner Christian Pappanicholas has done a good job at selecting wines to complement the food. We ordered a bottle of the 2003 Fertuna Messiio for $50. It's a all around great wine to match with your burger or muscles or chicken plus it is reasonable priced. It did need some airing but it's common with mature Italian wines.

Main course was combination of two starters and a entree. Daily special was a mushroom mix dish with bacon bits, a bit on the salty side for my taste but it was a tasty seasonal dish. Besides the mushrooms we also ordered the 'Four story hill farm' lamb belly confit orval-braised beluga lentils, labne (Drained yogurt) for $15. Now this dish rocked our worlds, perfect combination of ingredients masterfully selected and combined to create a tasty treat, also an alternative to those who love the pork belly. For the entree we chose the 'Four story hill farm' roasted poularde (A young hen that has been spayed for fattening. Doesn't sounds very humane but certainly delicious.) carrots, celeriac, bread, for $27. It was cooked to perfection with an amazing crispy skin. We skipped the dessert this time but from our previous visits I recommend the butterscotch parfait, liege waffle or the selection of belgian chocolates.

Service has always been extraordinary at the Resto. All our servers from various visits have been extremely courteous and helpful without being intrusive. Overall we had an amazing meal, supported our local restaurants and walked back home satisfied. We will surely return soon for the burgers, seasonal dishes or for the famous weekend brunch (fried chicken & waffles, belgian hangover pasta, grilled cheese , etc.).

Pros: Impressive Beer Selection. Well Chosen Wine List. Gourmet Burger and Moules Frites.
Cons: Certain dishes are pricey for this type of cuisine and setting.

Cuisine: Belgian, French, Gastropub
Phone: (212) 685-5585
111 East 29th St., New York, NY 10016 (Between Park Ave. South and Lexington Ave.)
Map: Google Maps

Wine: 2003 Fertuna Messiio Maremma Toscana, $50




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