Food Type: American Nouveau
Price Point: High
Restaurant Week: Lunch and dinner
Adjacent to the abandoned train tracks lies Remlik’s, one of the classiest restaurants in Downtown Binghamton. Located on the first floor of the Kilmer Building, its regal aesthetic is the closest thing in the Southern Tier to the Plaza Hotel. The ceilings are extraordinarily high, the dining rooms are dimly lit and spacious and the tables are covered with starch white cloths with a candle in the center. It is the perfect atmosphere for a romantic dinner.
For Restaurant Week, its dinner menu had a choice of three different appetizers and entrées and two desserts. I chose the soup du jour, tomato Gorgonzola, to start, the vegetable Napoleon for my entrée and the chocolate ganache cake.
My waitress had a congenial and attentive demeanor and the service was prompt. However, I was pretty disappointed with the food. For such a pricey restaurant, Remlik’s was very stingy with its portions. In New York City, this food-to-price ratio is common, but I was a bit surprised to see this in Binghamton, where you generally get a bang for your buck. The food itself was not particularly appealing to my taste buds either, but both of these factors may be accountable to the Restaurant Week menu.
Remlik’s gave us a complimentary basket of bread, which contained four small cylindrical slices of a skinny baguette accompanied by enough butter to bake a cake. The tomato Gorgonzola soup was a cup-sized portion and admittedly quite tasty, but nothing special. For a dairy soup, it was not too creamy, and the pungent flavor of Gorgonzola was repressed by the smokiness of fire-roasted tomatoes.
The vegetable Napoleon was not what I expected it to be. It was a layered tower of cooked vegetables. One slice of a beef-steak tomato, one slice of eggplant, onions and a chunk of zucchini surrounded by a puddle of yellow-pepper purée, sprinkled with feta cheese and mint leaves. The vegetables were light and the mint was refreshing, but the Napoleon was so bland; even the feta was not redeeming.
Despite my dissatisfaction with the first two courses, the chocolate ganache cake salvaged the meal. Not only was it delicious, but I was also glad that the triangle of chocolate dessert was smaller than the size of my palm. It was just enough rich fudginess for a chocolate lover’s delight.