I just dined at The Restaurant recently and I gotta say that I think the food's worthy of two Michelin stars. It was a pleasant surprise. Chef Christopher Kostow was previously head chef at Chez TJ, where he also garnered two stars. I had the 8-course Tasting Menu ($155) with wine pairing ($95). Anyone else been here?
Amuse Bouche: Summer Squash Consommé, Cucumber, Tomato
The squash consommé had a bracing tartness and acidity to it, which tended to draw out the flavors of the accompanying ingredients. Quite refreshing and true to the name amuse bouche in awakening and arousing the palate.
1: Cold Smoked Toro and Osetra Caviar
Crème Fraîche, Spring Onion, Warm Brioche. A beautiful, visually striking dish, the tuna itself was of medium fattiness I thought (probably a good thing here, as super-fatty toro would likely overpower the dish), and had a very soft, yielding consistency with virtually no tendon. Its mild flavor was drawn out successfully by the salty tang of caviar and richness of the crème fraîche. The brioche was largely unnecessary.
2: Foie Gras and Strawberries
There were actually four distinct preparations of foie on the plate, which unfortunately I can't recall the exact details of. On the left, we start with a terrine de foie gras; eaten with strawberries, it was one of the best preparations of foie since French Laundry. Next, covered by cocoa foam, was a fantastic, thin, rolled foie gras unlike any I'd ever had before (it was almost cheese-like). Then we have another pâté, sweeter and richer than the first, followed by a seared preparation, which was the weakest of the quartet.
3: Japanese Pike Mackerel
Yellow Gazpacho Sorbet, Celery. I don't get to have cooked mackerel often, but the pieces of fish were wonderfully crisp and salty. Thus the contrast provided by the cool, tart sorbet and celery proved to be an interesting interplay between taste, texture, and temperature.
4: Lobster and Sweetbread
Morels, Turnip, Summer Truffle. First of all, the lobster was very well cooked, as to really retain its natural flavor and texture. Add to that the saltiness of the sweetbreads and morels, then the pungent earthiness of truffle, and you get a dish that's almost too luxurious. I was afraid the foam would overpower but fortunately it sort of bound all the flavors together. Very nice.
5: Sonoma Poussin
Cockles, Chorizo, Haricot Vert. Poussin is another name for Cornish game hen, which isn't game, but just a young chicken. Never mind the name, this was some of the best poultry I'd ever tasted, so flavorful, so juicy, yet delicate at the same time. I thought it'd be overshadowed by the chorizo (which was superb), but the poussin was really the star of this dish. The cockle was a tasty morsel but a bit redundant.
6: Slow Cooked Beef Tenderloin
Pearl Barley, Porcini, Oxtail Broth. The meat's consistency was quite unlike other tenderloins I've had, cut-with-a-fork soft and very juicy. Its flavor was quite mild however, which made the beef a good canvas for the pungent aroma of truffle and savory nature of the oxtail broth. Delicious.
7: Fresh Andante Dairy Goat Cheese
Peaches, Olive Oil. The cheese was actually very mild, with only a slight tanginess and pleasant, smooth texture. It really let the other ingredients take center stage. I would've preferred a larger selection of cheese however.
Pre-Dessert: Plum Sorbet, Yogurt, Citrus Soda
The soda dissipated quite quickly, leaving a layer of the sweeter sorbet topped with a cool yogurt. A nice segue into dessert.
8: Milk Chocolate Soufflé
Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream. After having all the savory dishes, I expected something a bit more unique for dessert. Yes, the tea-flavored ice cream was a nice twist, but this didn't seem up to the level of the other dishes.
Full review with photos: http://www.kevineats.com/2008/08/rest...
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