by Max Brantley
We had dinner tonight at the Copper Grill, Mary Beth Ringgold's sleek new restaurant in 300 West Third. It's an airy, bright and contemporary setting, but comfortable, neither stuffy nor pretentious. If I had a place upstairs, I'd be down frequently for an icy martini and food that ranges from comfort food and burgers to more ambitious entrees and sauces.
About comfort food: That top image is a delightful invention, balls of excellent macaroni and cheese dipped in panko, the Asian-style bread crumbs, and deep fried. How can you lose? The blackberry dipping sauce is quite good, but why bother?
We had some fine grilled fish -- halibut and tuna -- and a ribeye steak. Portions here are enormous.
Desserts were fine. We wanted to show you the architectural entry -- a stack of fried cinnamon dusted tortillas sandwiched with chocolate mousse and sauteed bananas -- but while we were pulling our camera out, a couple of eaters were demolishing the tower.
The temperature-controlled wine room reflects a major investment in vino, with dozens of interesting wines by the glass and half-bottle.