Anyone else go last night? Not that you can judge a place from the 1-2 things that they prepare in bulk for this event, but here's my (longish) report:
1- I love Henry's End and am a friend of the owner, so this ain't impartial. Great venison, excellent pate. The game menu is on. Go. Never been to Blue Ribbon Sushi. I'll go now. Rolls and individual pieces of tuna and salmon were way above anything I'm used to. One of the top tables at the event, in my opinion. Blue Ribbon does a hell of a ribs. Is this on their menu? If so, Blue Smoke's in trouble. Never been to Paradou, but the escargot/brie (torte?) was great. Of course, it's listed on their menu as a $10 appetizer, so it should be, but still. Wow! The Mariott's own Archives was serving an excellent duck breast that almost makes me want to eat in a hotel. I see what everyone's talking about with Crave: the duck confit dish they prepared was my wife's favorite of the night. Certainly made my top 5 list as well. The ingredients (frizee, pearl onions...) were well thought out and complemented the duck just right. Okay so Ocean Palace may not be a small Chinatown "find" (in either location). But their chive dumplings were very good and the liver (yep, that's right: liver!) spring rolls were right up there for me. Cake Man Raven's cakes (red velvet & "watergate", which I believe is pistachio) were so far above the competition (and there were quite a few others in this category) that I will live in his upstairs cafe after tennis at Ft Greene park all next summer! Although the owner of Whim continues to be a good reason not to go (spent the evening as self promoting as ever), he did a dynomite tuna tartare on what seemed to be a large taro chip. ALMOST makes it worth going. Gage & Tollner's famous she-crab soup (which I remember liking over the years) had a taste of nutmeg (?) that I thought harmed the flavor. Alma had an excellent pork & guac on a tortilla chip which I only remember vaguely but fondly. Madiba's offerings were much the way I remember the restaurant: okay but nothing to go back for. Akwaaba (sp?) was great. Exactly why I remember this is a mystery, since I cant recall what I ate. But I am clear on liking it and even took their card to remember it, since it's off my beaten path. The Butter Pecan ice cream cone from the Bklyn Ice Cream/River Cafe table was a great ending. Not too much but more than enough flavor & the texture was excellent. A great ending.
I told Tuller to serve rotisserie chicken next time, I couldnt handle too much more food so I missed all the jerk entrees, I cant remember what LouLou, A Table, & Cocotte served (but I know I liked all of them), and I cant really remember some others that I didnt like. The beverages will wait for another time. I know I'm missing some, but this has been long enough.