Back a few weeks ago, I met up for drinks and dinner with an old friend of mine. We had lost contact when I moved out of LA many, many years ago and recently re-connected. We hadn't seen each other in about 15 years and it was like I had seen her yesterday.
Any time friends or family come to visit, I always feel a little pressure to find the perfect spot to eat. New York has a certain culinary reputation and I want to make sure that I choose a restaurant that will wow our guests. For this particular occasion I thought some pre-dinner drinks at Flute would be perfect. Flute is a champagne bar in Gramercy that I went to with friends the day before my wedding. I have been wanting to go back ever since. My friend and I ordered a couple of glasses of champagne and then headed off to dinner. We were both starving! I need to go back to Flute on Tuesdays for their champagne happy hour.
For dinner I thought a bustling restaurant with a lively crowd would be ideal. I love French food, and so does my friend, so we headed to SoHo for dinner at Balthazar. I have never had a bad, or even mediocre, meal at Balthazar. It took us a while to get a table, but once we started ordering and eating, we were in heaven. I ordered the duck shepard's pie and my friend opted for the trout served over a warm lentil salad. Both of our dishes were out of this world.
My friend's dish looked easy enough to recreate at home. I did a little online searching and came across this recipe. It was pretty easy to make and you can serve it warm or cold. It also keeps well in the fridge for at least a week. Though the recipe doesn't mention this, make sure to properly rinse the lentils before adding them to the rest of the ingredients to avoid a mushy salad.
I opted for salmon in my recipe instead of trout. Simply season salmon filets with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Serve the salmon over a bed of lentil salad. This is a light and tasty dinner.