Omnivore - One great standard, one mystery, one newbie

Here's a quick tour of some restaurants I've hit during the last week.

I lunched today at Eclipse di Luna with my friend Brad. The restaurant was crowded with business people having their office Christmas parties. If you have any doubt that a hierarchy of gender survives in the workplace, take a restaurant tour during the Christmas season. You'll see tables full of women at which one male is seated, usually in the middle. I doubt these are harems.

Brad eats at Eclipse frequently and noted that the menu changes often here. My fave today was "osso buco" with chickpeas, but this skewered hanger steak (top photo) was tasty, too, as was a plate of shrimp (above right). I devoured a hunk of tres leches cake all by myself. The restaurant has it made by a private baker, and it was unusually rich. Don't miss it.

I gave Sabroso Mexicano in Little Five Points yet another try last Sunday night. In a city with such a huge immigrant population, there's just no excuse for poor Mexican food, but this restaurant manages.

A dish of steak marinated in coffee and balsamic vinegar (above left) wasn't too bad, but the green beans were frankly inedible, tasting like they'd been cooked in spoiled oil. Wayne could not finish his plate of chicken enchiladas and, lemme tell you, when Wayne doesn't leave his plate shiny, something's up.

"What was wrong with it?" I asked.

"I don't want to talk about it," he said.

This place has a convivial ambiance, replete with a superzaftig drag queen Sunday night, but I wouldn't do more here than swill beer and eat chips, if I were you.

We hit the new, fancy Steel at Plaza Midtown for dinner. This is another Pan-Asian restaurant like Rain and Chinese Buddha. It's got a Johnson Studio interior with an impressive curved "rain curtain" separating the bar from the dining room.

The food is somewhat Americanized versions of Asian classics, such as the Chinese-style salt-and-pepper seafood (above right) and Korean-style grilled beef with kim chee and vegetarian pancakes (bottom left).

I'll have more to say in next week's paper.

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