I just had my best meal of the year at City Grit, a supper club venue in Soho I was not familiar with (it's on Prince St. between Mulberry and Mott). David Santos (formerly of Per Se, Bouley, and Hotel Griffou) has taken his Um Segredo dining group to City Grit for four events.
It's annoying to rave about a meal others can't obtain, so I'll save the gory details. This dinner on March 1, called March Madness, offered six courses unrelated to basketball playoffs, but rather dishes consisting of at least one ingredient that was rightly or wrongly thought to create madness (ranging from absinthe to apricot kernels). Here are some lovely photos of Annie Wang's: http://fritesandfries.com/post/186407...
David is offering three different dinners this week. Thursday is a tribute to Minnesota cuisine, with Dave cooking alongside Andrew Kraft, who melds touches from his native Minnesotan to his Franco-American cuisine at 6th. Friday is an oyster tasting menu (down to oyster crackers as the pastry base for a "NY cheesecake.") And on Saturday, Santos is joined by Akiko Moorman for a Japaguese dinner -- a combo of her Japanese and Santos's Portuguese roots.
City Grit offers inexpensive wine by the glass or bottle. You pay in advance via PayPal, and then your only expense is optional wine and tip. For more information, http://citygritnyc.com/
I can't find a Web listing of the menus anywhere, so I hope it's OK to cut and paste from the Um Segredo email about these dinners:
On March 8th i will be teaming up with my good friend Andrew Kraft. His roots are deep in Minnesota pride, so what better way to have fun but to do an inspiring explore Minnesota menu? We are taking classic Minnesota ingredients and putting a lot of love in them to create a refined midwest "comfort food" menu.
"green bean casserole"
Pickled mushroom salad
asparagus, poached egg, mizuna
Roasted pork belly
smoked potato puree, German potato salad, pickled mustard seeds
wild rice risotto, hazelnut foam
Braised Short Ribs
herbed spatzle, Root veg, onion puree
Apple Bread Pudding
cider puree, Vanilla and salted caramel gelato
On March 9th, I will be putting together an "ode to the oyster houses" menu. I offered something like this on Tuesdays at Griffou when I was there. People had a blast with it then, so I thought it would be nice to bring it back.
oysters on a half shell with a variety sauces
pickled oyster and pork belly salad, onion fondue, arugula
Oyster po boy, portuguese potatoes
"NY cheesecake" oyster cracker crumble
Finally, to cap it off we are going Japaquese! This time I will team up with my good friend Akiko Moorman to create a fusion between Portuguese and the Japanese cuisines. An actual cuisine in Hawaii, we are looking to put our own little spin on this one!
snapper ceviche, shiso, veg crisp
Portuguese octopus and japanese sardines
smoked potato puree, parsley pistou
Kale, potatoes, chourico, miso broth
tempura baby vegetables and prawns, piri piri sauce
manila clams, pork shoulder, japanese sweet potatoes and pickles
Yuzu rice pudding, spiced tapioca crisp, mint gel