i had an incredible dinner recently at CRU. instead of the 6 course summer tasting menu we opted for the 9-course chef's special tasting menu at $135/pp which is not on the menu. this was partly because the last time i went, the spring tasting menu was not impressive and more importantly i had a glimpse into the kitchen and recognized the chef, shea gallante manning the pass himself.
first amuse was the usual, couple of fried lollipops and balls made of various cheeses and sausages. i had them last time but today everything was seasoned perfectly. that and a glass of champagne got our palates rolling. excellent start!
second amuse was an incredible amuse that i don't know how to explain. it involved 2 plastic balls, piercing a needle through them, and then sucking the food out which had several distinct flavors, one of them being avocado. i noticed we were the only ones who received this amuse so i think it's specific to the chef's special tasting as i had not received it the first time i went. it was INCREDIBLE!!!
1st course was a tasting of the crudos. we were given a taste of 6 which included tuna, makarel, kio(?), sayori, and a couple more i forget. everything was very subtely flavoed with some sort of acid and either soy or salt. i was surprised it was all served at room temp but again it was excellent.
2nd course was a piece of arctic char in chive sauce. the fish was raw but it was warm. almost body temp. excellent.
3rd course was 3 pieces of shrimp that i could smell before it even reached our table. they were small but oh so fresh and tasty. best shrimp i've ever had!
4th course was an amazing piece of halibut encrusted in brunois potatoes with a caviar sauce. best dish of the night. as my friend stated, it was a home run dish!
5th course was the chef's version of a reuben. it sure looked like one but it consisted of sweetbread and sturgeon, topped with veal bacon and a cream based sauce. once again excellent!
6th course was poached squab. cooked perfectly and this too would have been excellent if i was a squab fan. but my friend is and he thought it was amazing. even though i'm not a fan i thought it was very good and as good as squab can get...
7th course was lamb. and what a lamb it was. so incredibly tasty and absolutely perfectly cooked. the jus tatsted like gold and it was the best lamb plate i've tasted in my life.
this was followed by a palate cleansing watermelon/passio fruit sorbet, cheese plate that included 3 cheeses, and then dessert. i am not a big fan of sweets and i thought the sorbet was a bit too sweet. the 3 desserts i tasted were ok but could not compete with the food. the cheese selections were excellent.
we had a nice bottle of riesling and barolo with the dinner and they were a perfect accompaniment to the food. my first experience with CRU was that it was a restaurant where the wine was the star and the food was to there to enhance the wine. after my recent experience i think the food is top 2 in the city. it blows away daniel and bouley, where the chef was chef de cuisine before Cru.... i was thorughly impressed with and amazed by the food, pace, plating, and the general flow of the whole dinner. an incredible culinary experience for me and i can't wait to go back as the season changes...