We had a wonderful dinner here last Saturday, at the ungodly early hour of 5:30, the only time I could get a reservation. Fabulous, our kind of place down to the ground.
Cocktails: a single-malt Irish on the rocks for him and "The Nash" for me, like a passionfruit-tasting barely-sweet Tom Collins, a perfect cocktail.
We went with the 3-course option. Appetizers: for me eggplant in yogurt water and 2 kinds of Turkish chilis (cold steamed Chinese eggplant in 2 1/2" sections, topped with yogurt and chives, very refreshing), for him artichoke gnocco (square, topped w roasted artichoke hearts, both very savory).
Main courses: tenderloin of veal with morels, fiddleheads, and (lightly pickled) rhubarb for me, for him Wagyu tenderloin with escargots and a mushroom I had never heard of for him (umami cubed). Both meats appeared to have been cooked sous-vide and then browned. Mine was supposed to come with tempura veal brains but I had it without, because I was just getting over a nasty stomach virus. Had I been paying attention to the brains being tempura, I would have had the dish as it was intended. Next time.
Desserts, a pear posset for him and the pecan beignets with Bourbon milk ice for me (oh BOY, the beignets were filled with pockets of salted caramel syrup and pecans, amazing, and so good with the ice, love temperature contrast).
Bottle of Collioure with and a glass of Sauternes after (it was served a tiny bit too cold, the only fault I could possibly find with the experience). V good coffee. Excellent wine list, lots of not terribly expensive but very interesting bottles. The wine director was very helpful and hit the nail on the head with that Collioure.
Mignardises -- tiny popsicles, candied ginger, and a cold mint truffle like the best ever After Eight.
Sexy food, excellent service (humorous and warm, à la mode de Taillevent). Very attractive room.
$300 with tip ($22 of that was for the Sauternes), ratio prix/qualité the best we've come across in the city. (It was pleasantly buzzy by the time we left, but by no matter of means loud.)
The option of a 5 or 7 course tasting menu tailored to your tastes is also offered. The people beside us were having the 7-course tasting. I would have had to have been carried out of the restaurant had we done that, the courses were about the same size as the ones we got (so if you stay away from tasting menus because of fear of getting tiny bits of this and that, this is your ideal place).
All this and Betty Carter as part of the unobtrusive background music. Our new occasion restaurant.
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