Friday, February 11, 2011

FC Nibble: Commerce - It’s not JUST about the Birthday Cake…..

Pin It

So, my cousins, The Altenaus (Michael and Maureen), were coming to the city. They wanted to take in a day at The Whitney and then (very generously!) take me out to an NYC dinner. Because of our blog, they asked ME where to go for dinner. Oh the pressure! So I went to my go-to human Zagat and fellow Foodie in NYC, Danielle, who did not disappoint!

She had gone to Commerce (not a “new” place but one with a great reputation) for dinner on New Year’s Day and she was pissed. She was pissed because her boyfriend and fellow friend of the Foodies, Mitchell, talked her OUT of having the birthday cake at Commerce for dessert. The nerve! So Danielle, after having a fabulous meal at Commerce, she went home dessertLESS with birthday cake on her mind!.

Needless to say, Danielle had Commerce on the mind. So when I went to her with my dilemma, she immediately recommended I take my beloved Altenaus there immediately.

So I made a reservation (which is a must)! Right away Michael was drawn to the cocktail menu, specifically the Sazerac, which is an old-fashioned type cocktail with rye and absinthe - a la Mad Men. He was skeptical, but gave big kudos to the bartender (by ordering a second)!

What then followed was a wonderful dinner of gnocchi with Italian sausage, papardelle with lamb and finally, broiled skate. Did I mention the homemade bread?! I have to say, for someone who doesn’t like seafood, the skate was….good! I don’t know that I would order it, but I was pleasantly surprised (and Mo almost licked her plate).

But now onto the pièce de résistance – the birthday cake. Out came a four-layered vanilla cake with rich chocolate icing, sprinkles and a candle! We ordered the banana pudding as a side dish for the dessert and it was delicious! So Danielle, thanks for the recommendation – and Mitch, take her back to Commerce for the birthday cake!

50 Commerce Street
New York, NY 10014


  1. OK...I have to admit, I did not try the birthday cake (the WW Points balance would leave me at a deficit for the following three weeks) but I recently went to Commerce and found myself sort of unimpressed. Before I go any further, I will say that the restaurant offers up arguably the best bread basket in the city.

    That being said, I ordered the duck. Flavor was nice but muted and it was decidedly not tender. A tough duck for $30+ is hard to just breeze by. For a menu that is somewhat limited and for prices that are somewhat limitless, I had trouble with this.

    The aesthetic of the restaurant is charming - from the fabulous street to the hot maitre'd (who I may have patted down a bit when he took my coat) to the lighting even. But this restaurant may be reyling more on its physical charm than on its culinary skill to wow the massses.

    --Scotty too hotty.

  2. Thanks for the comments Scotty-too-hotty! We AGREE on the bread basket -- man that was some good stuff. And in terms of the food....i would give Commerce another try. Stick to the pastas....they were delish! As for the hot maitre'd --we had a very glamorous woman with awesome earrings...but we didn't pat her down...sounds like you won that round :)

  3. I don't know you, but because of you i'm gonna have to try the place.