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Manhattan Birthday Dinner

Belated birthday dinner at Annisa - Report

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Belated birthday dinner at Annisa - Report

Core | Jan 28, 2004 12:19 PM

My best friend and I went to Annisa last night right before the snowstorm for a belated birthday celebration. My friend had met the sous-chef and based on their conversation we went for the 5 course tasting menu. We chose a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from Australia ($32) and most of our meal went well with the wine.

Amuse: salt cod brandade in a thin pastry shell. Warm, flavorful - noted but not blown away.

First Course: Diced beet "tartare" with a drizzle of scallion oil and diver scallop sashimi with thinly sliced water chestnuts in red shiso gelee. Very nice and light.

Second course: My favorite dish of the night was the seared foie gras with a foie gras soup dumpling. If I ever come back, this is what I'm eating at the full size. Flavorful, tasty, hearty and delicate at the same time. YUM.

Third Course: Also very good; merzula/hakefish with a chicarron (a.k.a. crumbled pork rind) crust served over a green garlicky sauce containing Manila clams and thin slices of fingerling potatoes. Loved the sauce and the fish was cooked perfectly for my taste (can't stand overcooked fish)

Fourth Course: Braised veal cheek with bacon and crispy sweetbread. Fabulous flavor, tender meat.

Fifth Course/Dessert: I indulged in a glass of Sauternes and chose the trio of Bordeaux desserts which was a small pear poached in Bordeaux with chestnut puree in the middle, a Roquefort mousse with a Sauternes gelee and a buttery French pastry that went well with the cheese mousse. My friend got the sesame mochi with coconut-caramel and pineapple ginger dipping sauces. Must say I liked hers better!

Overall, I enjoyed my experience there and would go back for select dishes and try some more. The room was nice and mellow and the service friendly and down-to-earth.

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