My most recent Press Dinner invite was at Masq (a play on the word masquerade), a New American restaurant & lounge with a New Orleans flair.
Situated in a slightly more residential area in Midtown, Masq is a must-do especially if you dwell on the east side.
The owner was gracious enough to offer wine pairings with every single dish. Truth be told, the experience was quite amazing.
306 E 49th St. (btw. 1st & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10017
MENU: Masq Menu
CUISINE: New American w/ New Orleans flair, Lounge
RECOMMENDED TO: Couples, Happy Hour, Small Groups, Casual Dining.
REVIEW – this is a tasting menu as part of a Press Dinner, hence the portions are smaller.
Masq is known for their NOLa inspired cocktails and so I just had to get a drink. I started off with a Hurricane made with Bacardi Light Rum, Goslings Dark Rum, Passion Fruit, Orange Juice, Fresh Lime Juice, and Grenadine. Sweet, spiked, and smooth.
First tasting was the Mac and Cheese Croquettes flavored with jalapenos, bacon, cheddar, Cajun spices wrapped in panko crumbs served with spicy remoulade (resembles spicy mayo). Although this dish was deep-fried, it wasn’t as greasy as one would expect. Highly flavorsome. This dish paired with a glass of white.
Next, the Prosciutto Fig Flatbread. Envision this… creamy and mild goat cheese, sweet figs, peppery arugula, salty prosciutto, and sharp Pecorino Romano. Y’all know I’m NOT a fan of goat cheese, nor do I eat prosciutto, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried this dish, and boy was it outstanding! An intricate melody of flavors, all my taste buds were heightened. Loved this dish so much that I had 2 pieces.
Next, the Cajun Fried Shrimp Sandwich. O.M.G. pretty much sums this one up! The breaded shrimp was huge, spicy, and tender. Layered with lettuce, tomato, and spicy remoulade, the piquant flavored sandwich just hit the spot. Scrumptious! On a negative note, the coleslaw on the side is nothing to write home about.
And of course, no Cajun meal is complete without Jambalaya which was prepared with shrimp, Cajun spiced chicken, and Andouille spicy sausage. This dish was spicier than the norm with bits of goat cheese to help soften the spicy flavors. Unfortunately though, the Jambalaya was simultaneously spicy and bland. It just needs additional seasoning to make this beautiful dish taste as good as it looks.
And lastly dessert, the Sabayon was served in a martini glass with custard, fruits, and whipped cream. It was a combination of sweet and tart flavors. The presentation was elegant, the flavors of the dessert, even better. A simple and effortless concoction that paired well with Frangelico on the side.
VERDICT: 4 / 5
I’ve never been to New Orleans, nor have I ever been to a New Orleans inspired cuisine, hence I was eager to dine at Masq. The food was above and beyond my expectations where most dishes were exceptional, and every dish had a spicy kick to it that I appreciated. When dining at a NOLa inspired restaurant, expect flavors like cayenne pepper, spicy remoulade, deep-fried dishes, shrimp, spicy sausage, and more. At the end of the day, Masq really is all American comfort food with a New Orleans twist and a little added heat.
In terms of decor, Masq offers a more laid-back, casual atmosphere which makes it the perfect hangout spot if you live in and around Midtown East. Additionally, if you work in the area, be sure to check out their lunch specials which include an appetizer, an entree, and wine/beer all for just $11. A steal!
After dining at Masq, I’ve got New Orleans on my mind, probably one of the most cultural cities in the United States. Well, until I visit New Orleans, I’m happy to say I’ve found my little NOLa gem in NYC.
|Food: Excellent||Mac & Cheese Croquettes, Prosciutto Fig Flatbread, Maryland Crabcakes, Cajun Fried Shrimp Sandwich.|
|Value: Good||Standard NYC prices for Midtown East.|
TELL ME: Have you been to Masq? Have you been to a New Orleans inspired restaurant or New Orleans? What’s your favorite NOLa inspired dish?