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Punch New York, N.Y. Punch, a vaguely circus-themed restaurant in the Flatiron district of New York, offers an eclectic menu of New American cuisine with Asian influences. The offerings are hit or miss, but to define the fare as inconsistent would be unjust. Among the more notable elements of Punch’s menu are the intriguing descriptions of the food. Not only are they slightly over the top, but figuring out the pronunciation of some of the entr�es is a feat in itself. My friend and I began our meal with a Pu Pu platter, which Punch christens Siam Ruam Mit. The dish consisted of exquisite duck spring rolls, lightly curried vegetable samosas, crispy fried calamari, and chicken satay with three dips: peanut, wasabi and a red chutney. All four were delicious and are an excellent way to enjoy the appetizer menu; the platter serves two easily and could definitely be stretched further. A large variety of salads, categorized as “petit” and “significant,” include a sirloin salad and various side salads. The little greens and other colors, served with a balsamic dressing, were satisfactory, and the Caesar salad with taleggio chips was good, with a milder dressing than usual. This was a satisfactory distraction from our meal, but I would suggest skipping salad and heading straight to the main course. The entr�es were inconsistent; while the panko crisps of lemon sole with toasted mango, served over a bed of fragrant rice and madras coconut curry, were satisfying, the Provence roast chicken with vegetables, toasted crottin and a shallot confit was less than thrilling. Other appetizers included a curried lamb, a sirloin with shallots and a gussied-up mac and cheese. The dessert menu offered several fruity concoctions as well as the brownie with ice cream we selected. It was served with slivers of almonds, adding a nice crunchy texture. Another convenient offering at Punch is the varied dish sizes. In addition to the petit and significant salads, the menu also includes lighter fare, which reflects the eclectic combinations of the entr�e menu, and sandwiches that are slightly — but only slightly — more mainstream. Punch’s Silicon Alley locale would suggest a packed house, but the midweek crowd was light. A wide variety of patrons graced the somewhat narrow restaurant’s tables and banquettes; seated near us were business diners, couples and small parties of friends. The bar was slightly more packed, as were the tables towards the front of the restaurant. The wait staff was attentive and knowledgeable; we were served at a leisurely pace. Restaurant: Punch Location: 913 Broadway (between 20th & 21st Sts.) New York, N.Y., 10010-7106 Reservations: suggested (212) 673-6333 Payment: Credit Cards Accepted: American Express, Visa, Master Card Eryka Peskin contributed to this story.

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