Atelier (50 Central Park South, 521-6125),
in the beautiful new Ritz-Carlton, is one of those rare exceptions - as close to flawless as any restaurant could ever strive for. I do not
exaggerate. Atelier gets the highest marks possible for food, wine, service and setting.
Executive chef Gabriel Kreuther formely chef de cuisine at Restaurant Jean-Georges, His approach can best be described as modern French with an
On our first visit, we opted for the tasting menu to
afford us the best opportunity to sample Kreuther's signature dishes.
Our repast was brilliant from start to finish. First up was the Terrine of Foie Gras. At the risk of a
spouting a cliché, we found this so rich, so buttery, so scrumptious, we devoured it in seconds. The fresh Tartare of Diver Scallop and blue fin tuna, seasoned with caviar, was extraordinary. And the cuisine just kept getting better. Delicious Peasant Flour Soup with Florida frog legs and scallions was exquisitely composed. And the savory, sweet Langoustine wrapped in kale with red pepper jus made us spill our dish of
superlatives. It was a dish that alone should make Atelier a worthwhile
Then came what the Tour de France calls "beyond
category," a fantastic Pennsylvania lamb rack with garlic mustard and five-pepper crust. My chief regret was that this was the last of my courses before dessert.
we returned to Atelier several times and tried dishes not featured on the tasting menu. Each time we visited, our expectations were high. Each time, they were exceeded. Everything we tried was
outstanding. Among our favorites were the roasted lobster with artichoke and rhubarb and caramelized baby fennel, where contrast in flavors
worked their magic on the taste-buds, not to mention the luscious slow-cooked rainbow trout with chicory sauce and summer vegetable confit. A word of advice: The most recent time we experienced Atelier
was on a rainy Tuesday night and every table was booked. it's wise to reserve now. Wait
much longer and you may find yourself waiting a long time.