Restaurant Review: Intersect by Lexus, New York City, A Shrine to Automotive Gastronomy

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Operating in part as an outpost of Restaurante 040 with the name 040 at Intersect, the dining room is modern and rather minimalist – perhaps intended to evoke the bespoke interior of a flagship Lexus LS sedan – but somewhat generic at the same time, perhaps a necessity given the range of cuisines and chefs that will operate from its open kitchen.

Nevertheless, as Joel Grey as the Emcee in “Cabaret” sings, “in here, life is beautiful.”  The dining room is beautiful, the entrance to the W.C. – with hundreds of Matchbox-size cars on display – is beautiful, and the W.C. itself is beautiful (and the combination of magical sliding doors reminiscent of the opening of “Get Smart” with high-tech Toto commodes, whose lids open as one approaches and whichalso function as a bidet, are something that generates quite a bit of buzz in the social mediasphere).

Barroso’s 040 at Intersect offers diners a $125prix fixe menu that varies daily.  Gratuities are included.

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Arriving for a 6:30 p.m. meal, we surveyed the downstairs area for a few minutes before heading up the stairs (there’s also a lift for those who prefer to avoid large staircases).  The host’s welcome was warm and we were seated at a prime people-watching table in the center of the room.

The cocktail menu was appealing and, without knowing that I was going to sip my drink from a pipe or my dining companion from a fish, ordered the two drinks that came in the most whimsical glassware I’ve ever come across.  The Memo was served in a blowfish-shaped glass and is a wonderful blend of sake, Aperol, and sparkling mineral water, while the Elementary, My Dear, was served in a glass drawing inspiration from the British master detective’s classic tobacco pipe, and is a delicious combination of Japanese Whisky, passion fruit, and cucumber.

The wait staff, who were professional without being obsequious, made sure to enquire after any food allergies and foods to avoid, given the nature of a prix fixe menu and, if anything, the kitchen seemed to err on the side of caution in making adjustments to the menu.

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