If you are not in love now, you will certainly want to be when you dine at One if By Land Two if By Sea. Inside this charming old brick building, said to have been Aaron Burr’s carriage house, chandeliers twinkle, candlelight and flowers adorn the tables, and the piano player tickles those keys into strains of romantic ecstasy. Two or three marriage proposals occur each evening, according to the staff. The building went through several incarnations before becoming a restaurant 40 years ago and is still a treasure trove of legends and curios such as replicas of the dueling pistols that ended Alexander Hamilton’s life.
While many diners come for the romance, many also come for Chef Colt Taylor’s cuisine. Classically trained and having worked in some stellar kitchens, Taylor changes the menu frequently. His version of the classics, such as Beef Wellington, is popular with tourists on weekends, but one of Taylor’s own special steak dishes combines Wagyu beef au poivre and Korean short ribs, which are thinner than traditional ones. Wagyu, with a delicate peppery crunch is so tender, it hardly requires a knife. The short ribs are braised in carrots, onion, and a delicious brown jus. Especially memorable is Veal Agnolotti, little pasta pillows filled with veal, bone marrow, a few secrets, and sprinkled with bits of crispy sweetbreads. Taylor loves to cook fish and creates a delicious dish of silky tender scallops with cauliflower, capers, and bit of “dehydrated” bacon (yes, and it’s crumbly, crunchy and delicious).
Choose the three-course tasting menu or the seven-course chef’s tasting menu. Dinner daily, 5 to 9:30pm (later Friday and Saturday); brunch weekends 11:30 to 2pm. -- Marian Betancourt