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Landmarc at the Time Warner Center

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I’m betting that the food at Landmarc in the Time Warner building never has to be one jot better than it is right now to strike gold. There are not many tempting options in this neighborhood for a very good $13 burger and respectable strip steak at $28 with a bit of park view, open from 7 a.m. till 2 a.m. This vast, stylish, upscale lunchroom in its fuzzy infancy is already a lure for shoppers and hungry cooks finished scrubbing down other kitchens nearby. Some of the $7 million Marc Murphy and his wife, Pamela Schein Murphy, spent here is visible in rich wood and steel rods. Our entourage of seven rate an exceptionally polished waiter and a giant table inside a claustrophobic but tranquil wood cocoon. Stretched to feed a thousand mouths each day, the kitchen may never find the finesse I remember from the flagship downtown. Even so, irresistible little cheese fritters, impressively juicy chicken on smashed potatoes, and carefully pan-sautéed monkfish raise the hope that someone will rethink the lackadaisical onion soup, the glum and gummy orecchiette, and whatever that muck is beneath the monkfish. It’s a cheat when the poached egg atop your frisée salad doesn’t release a flow of molten yolk. Should I quibble about a Caesar with deftly cooked salmon at $20 because Parmesan excess doesn’t make up for scarcity of anchovy? In the end, I must admit, the house’s clever little desserts, a mixed blessing of six for $15, leave me with a smile.

Landmarc at the Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle, at 60th St., third fl.; 212-823-6123


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