May 24, 2004 | Ask Gael
Who’s that dancing in the kitchen at Morrells?

        Sure, there are 120 wines by the glass any day of the week, and oenophiles can bring that precious bottle (without a corkage fee) on BYOB Mondays at Morrells. But fussy mouths will also be pleased to discover new pizzazz in the kitchen, where chef Patricia Williams turns out the kind of food that obsessed her in her abstemious ballet-dancing days. A lusciously creamy toss of asparagus, sugar snap peas, yellow wax beans, anorexic string beans, and icicle radishes is an ode to spring. Soy-yuzu vinaigrette perfumes lemon-“cooked” hamachi. You needn’t be a vegetarian to appreciate sautéed portobellos in root-vegetable pot-au-feu or savory goat-cheese-mushroom-arugula-strewn penne. Let the sommelier pour a glass of Bordeaux to go with rack of lamb with merguez sausage on Israeli couscous, the whiskey-soaked pork chop, or a wonderful big burger on brioche with first-rate fries. Desserts are all madly sweet. Better to treat yourselves to a splash of Sauternes with the cheese plate. Or economize with the new $39 prix fixe.

900 Broadway at 20th Street 212 253 0900