We've always loved Mas (farmhouse). We love it for its quaint West Village location, we love it for its laid back but refined vibe, and we love it for being one of the better value fine dining experiences in all of New York. We even love it for its use of parenthesis, which will always make words sound in my head like the voice Homer Simpson uses when he whispers. And now that five years have passed since our first review of this restaurant that we love, here we are with an update to remind you to love it too.
When Mas first opened in 2004, we had not yet entered the era of the everywhere tasting menu in New York. For most of the last decade, it was relatively unheard of to pay less than $100 for four courses of food, let alone food of this quality. That was always part of what made Mas special - a high level fine dining experience at a decent price. So, part of what we want to reiterate with this review is that this restaurant is still special, even though everyone from a Greenpoint beer bar to your local bodega offers a prix fixe option of some sort these days.
What's funny, though, is that I don't think the price of the menu is ever what really endeared Mas (farmhouse) to us. We usually end up spending enough money on wine to wipe out any perceived "savings" on the food when we have dinner here, and we're not exactly ordering '80's Bordeaux from the back of the list. The cheapest (see, only) glass of champagne in this place costs $27. And you know what? It's all good. Because you shouldn't come here looking for a deal. You should come here looking for an experience, preferably in celebration of a Special Occasion or just the fact that you killed it at [insert attainable achievement] this week. Regardless of what you pay for it, you're going to love it, from the food, to the service, to the relaxed yet upscale atmosphere. You'll also love it because they're flexible with the menu, allowing you to order a la carte and even make substitutions on the package deal if you so wish.
Ultimately, our suggestions is this: Pretend it's 2004 and get excited about Mas (farmhouse) again. My Simpsons references might be getting get old, but this place just doesn't seem to.
Our best piece of advice when it comes to the food at Mas is to lean heavy on the fish items. That said, this beet salad with duck is excellent. You'll also notice the large portion sizes, especially for what you might expect from a high end French restaurant.
Fish and snails make for excellent plate mates. Who knew? This is so incredibly good. If you see it, get it.
Again, a fish dish for the win. Your best bet for success is to load up on items from the sea, even if it means substituting some things in from other parts of the menu. They'll allow it.
This gnocchi was one of the few things we haven't loved at Mas. It's a little dense and lacks flavor. Look elsewhere.
A classic Mas (farmhouse) dish of sushi grade tuna basted in hot butter. Yeah, you want it.