Among Manhattan restaurants, at least, schnitzels are on the upswing. While you may think that the pounded-thin, breaded-and-fried cutlets belong mainly in the city's antique German restaurants like the Heidelberg, Zum Stammtisch, and Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn, and also as milanesa res in Mexican taquerias, this dish is undergoing a resurgence on the menus of more stylish restaurants.
At The Marrow, Harold Dieterle is beating duck breast into submission, and frying up one of the best tasting - and painstakingly executed - schnitzels that the city has ever seen. The dish comes with a riot of accessory flavors, including stewed wolfberries, hazelnuts, and Quark spaetzle.
Meanwhile, Robert Berry of Monument Lane, a restaurant at least partly intended to recall the salt marshes and farmland of 18th century Greenwich Village, riffs on lamb's schnitzel possibilities. The pounded-thin cutlets have a pleasant pronounced sheepish taste, mediated by an herby and vinegary cabbage salad topside. Underneath is what you might call a hummus sauce.
Sizewise, you can't beat the breaded chicken cutlet at Union Square Café, a staple of the lunch menu. Talk about plate-flopping! This is schnitzel's forte, not only multiplying the crisp surface area of the chosen flesh, but also turning a small wad of meat into what looks like a magnificent quantity, a real paen to culinary opulence.
A few other places that serve schnitzels: Balaboosta (chicken), Bar Boulud (pork), Blaue Gans (pork, veal, beef), Café Glechik (pork), Commerce (pork), Edi & the Wolf (pork), Hospoda (veal), Northeast Kingdom (pork), Prime Meats (pork).
Have no doubt that more schnitzels will soon be looming like brown clouds on the horizon.
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