West Bank Cafe Measures Up

West Bank Cafe is one of the most popular pre-theatre restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen, and for good reason.

It has an elegant atmosphere, a reasonably priced prix-fixe, and a small but eclectic menu. But few pre-theatre restaurants can be considered serious dining destinations. My question was – did this place measure up at lunch service?

Bread and Hummus

I am a sucker for a unique bread service, and this one did the trick for me. The bread was thinly sliced ficelle that had an airy, slightly sour interior and a slightly stiff crust. The hummus was out of this world.  Smooth but not too thick, with a looser texture than the norm, and a very bright lemony kick. There was the sweet, savory taste that can only be roasted garlic, and paired with the excellent bread, it was a really fantastic starter. 
Fresh Roasted Turkey with Rocket, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, and Rosemary Aioli
The most boring thing on the menu. Why did I even get it?! Well, because I have great instincts – this thing was outstanding. Why is fresh roasted turkey so great on a sandwich? It was juicy, hearty, and paired so well with the slightly bitter rocket and the woodsy, rosemary scented aioli. The oven roasted tomatoes were well paired with the sandwich – they were sweet, juicy, and tender, with a taste in between tomato jam and sundried tomatoes. Paired with lightly dressed greens, this simple sandwich was delicious.

Lobster Spaghetti

My dining companion got the lobster spaghetti, which she inhaled before I could taste…I guess that means it was tasty?
West Bank Cafe, while not a destination restaurant, is far beyond the standard pre-theater meal. It is well priced, with great atmosphere and a really delicious menu. I have had the huge and juicy burger and freshly cut fries, and can vouch for that, too. Though the service can vary from efficient and professional to slow and confused, it is good more often than not. Whether you have a theatre date or not, this is a great neighborhood spot.
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