Written by Marilyn Hansen and Hulda Lawrence
Lundy Bros. Restaurant at Times Square, 205 West 50th Street, at Broadway, (212) 586-0022. In the days when Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn were a summertime playground for millions of families, Lundy's, a boisterous spot known for seafood, was not to be missed. It was the dining destination for seafood lovers who were served by the thousands each day a variety of steamers, clams, oysters and Lundy's delicious pies.
If you remember the original Lundy's (it may have been before your time!) you must try the new Lundy's Times Square. The restaurant is in a building owned by the Shubert Organization. The Winter Garden Theater is in the same building now showing Mamma Mia!, the ABBA musical. Lundy's Times Square begins with a bar-café on the first/street level; a 200 seat dining room complete with lobster tank is on the second floor and on the third floor is a 180 seat space plus private dining room.
We were full of anticipation as we ordered from the menu inspired by Lundy's classics. The Raw Bar is a good place to begin with appetizers featuring half shell Littleneck clams, half shell Blue point oysters, whole poached lobster cocktail and jumbo shrimp cocktail. I chose the oysters which were fresh, briny and refreshing. My companion chose the jumbo shrimp cocktail, a winning choice. Also available are the shellfish samplers presented in tiers on raised crushed ice-filled platters. You can select from a single tier up to three, depending on your appetite and the number of persons in your party. I must also mention Lundy's famous chowders: old fashioned clam, Brooklyn red; plus lobster bisque, baked clams steamers and mussels.
Fresh fish selections are available broiled, blackened, grilled or pan seared and are served with vegetable and Red Bliss potatoes or rice. Choose from North Atlantic salmon, yellowfin tuna, diver sea scallops and Atlantic flounder. Lundy's presents lobster in a big way. Select your own lobster right from the tank; it will be weighed, tagged and prepared as you like, steamed or broiled. The chef's appetizing preparations for lobster include seafood stuffed - baked with a scallop and shrimp stuffing; and fra diavolo - sautéed in a spicy tomato sauce and served with mussels and clams over pasta.
Specialties of the House lead with Lundy's Shore Dinner. Lundy's famous complete dinner includes a cup of chowder or house salad followed by a whole steamed lobster, half grilled chicken and chef's selection of vegetable and potato, ending with homemade apple crisp or ice cream. Additional specialty entrees are brick oven baked stuffed sole: fresh Atlantic sole filled with a crabmeat stuffing, brick oven baked and served over creamed spinach. For cioppino, Lundy's version of this famous dish is loaded with clams, mussels, and mixed fish in a fragrant tomato clam broth with garlic aioli crisps.
There are meat and poultry dishes to appease every appetite, including marinated half roast chicken, New York sirloin steak, veal chop Oscar and filet mignon. Let me not forget the surf and turf section featuring New York Sirloin steak and jumbo grilled shrimp or New York steak and lobster tail.
If you have room for dessert, the moist pineapple upside down cake is a winner, also the apple crisp. A box of s'mores is available too, however I think that's more for children.
Hours: Lunch - Everyday; 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Dinner- Sunday, Monday 5:00 p.m.-10:oo p.m. Tuesday- Thursday-5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
Metrazur, Grand Central Terminal, East Balcony. (212) 687-4600; FAX 212 687-5671. Charlie Palmer is phenomenal in the culinary scheme of things. In addition to the famous Aureole restaurant and the Astra catering venue which he owns, he has more recently conceived and created Metrazur in Grand Central Terminal. One can gaze at the gorgeous ceiling or the scurrying passengers dashing for their trains and have an excellent luncheon or dinner in an oasis of serenity above the crowd. At our table on the East Balcony, we relaxed and really felt that we were on that noted Cote d'Azur train for which the restaurant is named.
Service is very professional and excellent at the hands of knowledgeable waiters. We began with Kirs, the very French aperitif and Smoked Brook Trout topped with a dollop of caviar and remoulade sauce. The smoked trout is prepared on the premises and is delicious. We also ate the Heirloom Tomato Tart, done with baby arugula and tomato marmalade, a wonderful beginning for our leisurely luncheon. Incidentally, those who require faster service may eat at the counter. Our waiter, Phillip, suggested that we taste the Baby Lettuce done with oven-dried tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette. It was very good.
The fascinating menu presented so many fine-sounding entrees that we were torn, but finally settled on the marvelous Bay Shrimp and Green Onion Risotto accompanied by a divine black olive Parmesan Crisp and Oven Braised Wild Striped Bass with manilla clams and lobster broth. Both choices were delicious. When Phillip heard that I enjoyed crab, he insisted that I taste the Chesapeake Crab Cake.
With our main dishes we had glasses of Sancerre, "la Guilberte" D.Gueneau at $8 a glass, an excellent wine. There are many wines, both sparkling and still, available by the glass from $6 and up. Of course, there are well-selected wines also available by the bottle. There is also a complete cocktail menu with such delights as Blue Metrazur of Absolut Citron, apricot brandy, blue curacao and lime; Orange Blossom Special of gin and orange juice; and Flying Scotsman of Vox vodka and apple pucker.
From 3 to 10:30 p.m. there is a lounge menu with such choices as pizza from $10 and a three-plate tier of Moroccan Glazed Wings, Shrimp Spring Rolls and Tuna Carpaccio Nicoise at $18. One can relax, nibble and sip interesting drinks while looking upwards at the astronomical interpretations on the ceiling.
We finished our lunch and happily tried Honey Nectarine Crisp with caramel pecan ice cream, Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with banana rum ice cream and Double Chocolate Pyramid. Each was outstanding. Next time, I shall try Neapolitan Ice Cream Pyramid of pistachio and milk chocolate sauces. Strawberry Orange Shortcake and Creme Brulee are also featured. All desserts are $8. We ended our lunch with wonderful Cappuccino at $3.75.
A special prix fixe lunch at $20 is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a first course of soup or salad, a main course of Grilled Salmon Nicoise Salad or Crisp Roasted Chicken and a dessert of the Bittersweet Chocolate Torte, ice cream or sorbet.
Served daily from 5 to 6:15 p.m. is a pre-theatre supper for $29 which starts with soup or Smoked Brook Trout or Metrazur Salad with shaved parmesan cheese. The main course is Cavatelli Pasta or grilled chicken and goat cheese, Grilled Salmon Nicoise Salad or Crisp Roasted Chicken. Dessert is the Bittersweet Chocolate Torte or Crème Brulee or ice cream or sorbet. Guests receive miniature Metrazur suitcases for carrying crisp cookies to be nibbled during intermission. They are accompanied by a complimentary MetroCard to take the shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square for the theatre.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 10:30 p. m., Le Weekend Menu at $29 presents three courses and all the wine you can drink! Appetizers are soup, salad or Tuna Carpaccio Nicoise. Main courses include Crisp Roasted Chicken, Chesapeake Crab Cake or the delicious Bay Shrimp and a Green Onion Risotto. Dessert is a Crème Brulee, Double Chocolate Pyramid or ice cream and sorbet.
Metrazur is equipped to handle small or large groups in a private dining room for 40 to hundreds in the balcony or in the entire restaurant. The a la carte menu at lunch starts at $9 for Metrazur Salad; Smoked Trout is $14; entrees are $19 for the Cavatelli Pasta; Herb Basted Fluke and Charred Ahi Tuna are $25. Wood-grilled steaks start at $26. There are also Raw Bar selections.
Hours: Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner, Monday-Sunday, 5 to 10:30 p.m.
Lounge, Monday - Friday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight
Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m. to midnight
-- Hulda Lawrence
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.