Saturday, May 22, 2010

P.S. Restaurant

Name: P.S. Restaurant
Location: 100 Rano Blvd., Vestal, NY 13850
Phone: (607) 770-0056
Cuisine: French/Thai
Attire: Upscale (not formal)
Price: $100+ for two

Review: P.S. is a restaurant I had long wondered about, having driven past on numerous occasions. I do math tutoring for a family on Rano Blvd. and have driven past this place every week for years. I knew it had a reputation for being one of the better restaurants in the area but didn't really know what to expect. Tonight, Megan and I decided to rally the troops and visit P.S. for ourselves. Our friend Tom came along and we had ourselves a good time.

From the outside, P.S. is nothing to look at. It's located in a small shopping plaza with a bank, a bar, an insurance office, a hairdresser, and a grocery store. Not exactly where you'd expect to find fine dining. But I was pleasantly surprised with the ambiance. In terms of appearance on the inside, there's no doubt this is one of the nicer places in the Binghamton area. Upon entrance there's a small bar/lounge area that looks like it'd make a nice place for a nightcap after a fancy night out on the town. The dining area is exactly what you'd expect of a nice restaurant, though some of the tables were a little closer together than I prefer. All three of us were impressed and somewhat surprised with our environs.

The wait staff was knowledgeable and made good recommendations throughout our meal. Our waitress was attentive throughout and really did a nice job despite her inability to pronounce "edamame" properly. Ah well, can't win 'em all.

Bread and butter were served to start, and we got a bottle of riesling. I decided to go with the Diver Scallop Risotto appetizer to start my dining experience, as seen below.

The risotto was advertised as containing "chunks" of scallops but the reality was there was but one scallop on top of the dish. A neat presentation for sure with cucumber surrounding the risotto making a "bowl." I didn't feel too strongly one way or the other about this. There was something slightly off-putting about the rice itself, it really didn't taste quite right. The scallop was well-cooked but there was just the one--I would've liked the flavor of the scallop to come through this dish a little bit more. The lobster sherry sauce surrounding the risotto was the best thing on the plate, with a rich flavor that certainly helped tie the dish together, much like The Dude's rug did for his living room. Overall, though, I was less than pleased with the appetizer.

With an entree you get your choice of soup or salad, and I elected to try out the Thai side of the menu with the Tom Yum soup with shrimp. The soup was OK but did not amaze me. Definitely a little too heavy on the mint. I would've liked a little more shrimp in there as well, but so it goes. Decent, but the best was yet to come.

For my entree, I ordered something entitled the "Caitlin & Penne" which was comprised of sauteed shrimp tossed with penne in a lobster cream sauce with mushrooms and asparagus spears. Here it is!

Now that's what I'm talking about. I was impressed by everything about this dish. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and had great taste, the penne was al dente just as it should be, but the lobster sauce was out of this world, a nice thick sauce kind of like a marsala sauce but creamier and with lobster. This dish was amazing, and I look forward to eating the rest of it for lunch tomorrow, as the portion they gave me was rather enormous. It takes a lot for me to need a doggie bag, but here's the rare instance when it was necessary. I would get this dish again in a heartbeat.

I also sampled Megan's entree, which was some variety of beef tips with bleu cheese. Also outstanding. The beef was so tender it practically melted in my mouth. Very nice. Here it is:

Certainly an impressive plate of food. I'll let her comment on how she felt about the meal, but I think she was extremely impressed, more than I was.

For dessert, I elected my usual Irish coffee from a rather impressive menu of after-dinner drinks. Good, but it left me pining a bit for the Lost Dog's counterpart that I had last weekend. Megan got the Creme Brulee and I snagged a bite. Quite good. She was pleased with it. Tom got the Apple Pie with maple and he said it was the best thing he had all night, though he was less than pleased with most of his meal. Admittedly, the tuna appetizer he ordered looked WAY overcooked especially for sashimi grade tuna, and he wasn't a big fan of the mayonnaise content of his entree (also tuna). He did say he'd definitely come back again though, so that's a plus.

All in all, P.S. had some very strong attributes that made up for a couple of smaller missteps. The ambiance of the dining area somehow is able to overcome the external surroundings of the restaurant, which is quite an achievement in and of itself. The waitress was friendly, attentive, and made good suggestions. The entree I got was superb in absolutely every way, which helped make up for the underwhelming risotto appetizer and the somewhat average soup. This was not the best meal I've had in the Binghamton area, but I think P.S. has the potential to deliver such a meal. I will give a somewhat conservative rating this time around, but I am hopeful I will be able to bump it up after my next visit, which I will eagerly await.

Rating: B+

P.S. Restaurant & Luxury Lounge on Urbanspoon

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