For our 15th anniversary dining trip, our final night would be the Monday night of Labor Day weekend. As we were planning, we found that in addition to the usual Monday closures, there were some additional restaurants that would not be open on Labor Day. Ultimately, we thought that going to The NoMad would be a perfect ending to the weekend, which started with lunch at Eleven Madison Park on Friday. Fortunately, we were able to get a reservation and our plans for the weekend were set. When we made our reservations, they noted that the Parlour would be closed, so we would be seated in the Atrium, which sounded fine to me.
When we arrived at 8:00, the Atrium was relatively full, but we were directed to our table immediately. The music is fairly loud, although we very much enjoyed the mix. We were approached relatively quickly to see if we wanted a cocktail and did decide to start with champagne (for me) and a cocktail (for my husband). Then we received a complimentary amuse of the radishes dipped in butter with sea salt. It took us a little while to realize that this was not something that people generally receive (we did wonder why people would order it from the menu if they received it as an amuse). I think we probably received it because we had been to EMP on Friday for lunch and they knew we would be at The NoMad to end our weekend. I must say that the radishes are really good and I would definitely enjoy them again. It was really nice of them to send them out with the compliments of the chef.
To start, we ordered the steak tartare w/horseradish served with nicely toasted brioche and a bottle of 1995 Von Schubert Maximum Grauhauser qba. The tartare was really good and I liked the presentation in a little glass mason jar. I would note that while our waiter was perfectly helpful as far as deciding how many dishes to have and describing dishes when requested, he didn’t exude much warmth or personality. Our sommelier was really great, though. And, at the end of the evening we mentioned to our waiter that we knew they had some other rooms and he took us on a little tour and really perked up, sharing some fun facts about the space.
For our next course, we had a salad of snow pea chiffonade with pancetta and pecorino, which was very refreshing and the egg with corn, crispy prosciutto and tarragon. The egg was perfectly cooked and both of these dishes were excellent combinations of ingredients. We then also had the tagliatelle with king crab, meyer lemon and cracked black pepper. This is another relatively simple dish, but was executed very well and I would definitely order it again (although there are so many things that I want to try.)
We had a little trouble trying to get our second bottle of wine as the sommelier got tied up with some other tables. We ordered the 1990 Robert Ampeau Volnay Santenots Premier Cru, which was lovely, but we received our main courses before our wine, which was a little disappointing.
For our main courses, our staff from EMP (and other Chowhounds) had highly suggested the roasted chicken for two. I am not always the biggest fan of foie gras and we queried our waiter about how strong the foie gras flavor was; he noted it was pretty strong, so we ended up opting for other dishes.
I had the lobster which they described as minestrone with fava beans, lemon verbena and garganelli pasta. This was a nice dish, but definitely not as good as others we had that evening. My husband had the duck with fennel, peaches and pickled juniper. It was some of the best duck either one of us has had in a long while. Perfectly cooked and beautiful.
At this point, I was stuffed (it was the end of a long weekend of eating and I think it started to catch up to me), so we weren’t sure if we were going to have desert. Ultimately, we decided to share one desert: the peanut butter palette with milk chocolate and peanut butter sorbet with a couple pieces of caramel corn. Even though I was full, it was a nice finish to the meal.