Arcane [Click the photo above to go to Arcane’s website]
111 Ave C (between 7th and 8th Street), New York, NY 10009
I don’t know why Thursday nights always seem like the best night to plan a dinner (with alcohol), but for some reason they do. Maybe it’s because I like to pretend I’m in college and convince myself my weekend has started (it didn’t. I have work. Surprise! You’re hung-over eating a bacon egg and cheese in your cubicle)
Anywho! I planned dinner with my cuz (that means cousin) to try Arcane, a French/Caribbean themed restaurant (maybe we’ll feel like we’re in St. Barth’s) on Ave C. She lives in Grammercy, and it was a good excuse to stay relatively nearby. The idea of dragging myself to the other side of town just seemed exhausting ($11 cab? What? I’ll just put it on my credit card and act like it never happened). I picked my cousin up on the way (splitting a cab is the best) and off we went!
We walk in, and we are greeted and seated. Drink menus are on the table so decisions have to be made immediately. Unfortunately the restaurant was pitch black with the exception of teensy weensy candles placed on each table, and a few lamps randomly placed throughout the restaurant (I feel like the electricians were like “Let’s just put it here. They can walk their table over to the light to see). I put the candle up to the menu trying to decipher the shapes on the white piece of paper (I felt like an explorer inside a cave trying to read stories from an indigenous people that were long extinct, but not really at all). It was actually pretty annoying.
I ordered a little number called the “Moulin rouge.” French theme I guess. It had some raspberry/lime thing happening I felt drawn to. My cousin on the other hand had a little bit more trouble deciding… to say the least.
“Fig juice? That sounds delicious, but I don’t like orange juice. Do you think I should ask them what they recommend? Will they get mad at me?”
The waitress unfortunately had a thick accent (I want to say French, but really what do I know?), and she was pretty much impossible to understand. My cousin panicked and picked some mango infused drink, and when the waitress walked away she whispers to me, “I really don’t want the mango in it…” Then that was not a good choice!
Time for the nitty gritty, ordering the meal. I had purposely worn tight jeans so I would not go insane at Arcane (judge away for that one).
“do you want to split appetizers?”
“I want the papaya salad.”
“I want the shrimp, avocado, and hearts of palm salad”
(so we’re not really splitting. We’re pretty much ordering what we want, but yeah let’s say we’re splitting)
Main dish: we both end up ordering the tuna “From the Grill.” The waitress looks at my cousin and says something that neither of us can understand (and since it’s so dark it’s not like you can even attempt to read lips). My cousin starts laughing like a hyena and goes, “what?”
It’s still unintelligible.
My cousin is now getting uncomfortable and laughing even more, “I’m so sorry! What?”
It still sounds like Chinese to both of us. Now it’s just awkward to say, “what,” again and her next move is to just blindly guess what the waitress is saying, “how do I want my tuna cooked?”
The waitress nods. Thank G-d! We got it right!
“Rare please!” DONE. Mercury poisoning is not real (yes it is).
We also ordered sides…why not right?? Spinach, and a gratin (“we’ll share them,” we say confidently).
We were both really pleased with our salads. Mine was a little spicy, which I like, and my cousin dug for hearts of palm like a deep sea fisherman. Then the tuna comes, and so do another round of drinks. My cousin opted for my Moulin Rouge, and I ordered it again.
By the time dessert rolled around, I was already tipsy and my cousin was up to drink #3.
“Do you want dessert?” the waitress asks. WE CAN UNDERSTAND THAT.
“Yes! Chocolate cake” (what upp)
As we wait for the cake my cousin motions towards her vodka soda “Here have some of my drink!” She goes to hand me some, and she realizes the drink is empty. Nevermind…
With exception to the minimal lighting, the food was really good, and we were in a tropical setting (I mean we drank like we were) in the beginning of March. Go Arcane!
Arcane (Moulin Rouge cocktail)
Arcane (mango infused cocktail)
It was great! The oil on the side had garlic and peppers mixed in (YUM). Thank G-d I had those tight pants on otherwise I would have had trouble resisting the urge to eat all of it!
Arcane (papaya salad)
So good! I took a picture of the other salad, but the picture didn’t do it enough justice.
Crispy goodness with a little bacon. I ain’t mad.
Arcane (chocolate cake)
I started eating, and then realized I should probably take a picture, so a little corner is missing.
Look how gigantic it is! I also ate 1/4 of it before I took this picture!