Temple Place returns to its deserted, step-child status in the hit-and-miss "Ladder District" with the departure of Stoddard's and sister spot IVY. I hear the restaurant group has filed for bankruptcy and one can only wonder if the ornate custom carved bar and such expensive details were balanced by other factors in the business plan. My fondest memory of that street was the pre-Ivy bar - the name I'm blanking on. Leigh (who now thankfully tends bar at Les Zygomates) once held the cheeseballs at bay for me while I sipped as a single girl. But, I digress...
After many hiccups in opening and odd responses when I called to see if it had, in fact, opened...("Well, we're sorta open but not really, just for private parties now.") I enjoyed two meals there. One with a Passionate Foodie (AKA Rich Auffrey) which was on the house and included a couple of oddities amongst a few real standouts.
→ Please drop a comment with suggestions for where I can find heavenly onion rings that rival these.
The ballotine of rabbit (What's a ballotine, you ask? Please read how Iconic Chef Jacques Pepin himself demonstrates the technique.) was sublime.
Rabbit is underutilized, highly sustainable and delicious. This was really a wonderful dish and showed considerable skill in the kitchen.
Please read more about my first attempt to butcher and prepare rabbit at home, Of Rabbits and Roller Coasters.
It was notable that on the second visit - when I was "just" a customer - the graciousness of the first visit was lacking. When three managers are standing outside the door as you exit, at least one should look up and say "thanks for coming in." But hey, I guess I'm just old school like that. (for an interesting post on the ups and downs of bloggers' free invites see Dianne Jacob's post - startlingly bad behavior in evidence there. Food Blogger Pays for Expensive Free Meal.)
So we hope the Stoddard owners will learn from the experience and land on their feet. In the meantime, where are your favorite onion rings and how do you like them? Strings? Fat battered rings? Most persuasive comment gets onion rings on me - we'll go for a drink and a nosh.