Degustation is a wonderful place and I highly recommend it to all you Chows out there for a unique NYC dining experience.
We had a 10:00pm booking for Saturday night. I had heard a few stories of reservations not being observed on time, but we had no problem, and were seated around 10:10pm.
The small room was abuzz, it smelled wonderful and everyone seemed to be enjoying their meals. I was excited!
I noticed the Chef Wesley Genovart was not at the helm, but wasn't fazed; the food that was being plated looked perfect!
We decided on the 10 course tasting menu, but also added the fois gras dish that was on the menu. Because it sounded amazing, we asked the server if it was included on the tasting, she said it wasn't, but urged us to add it in.
Our wine was served and The feast began with an Amuse bouche of:
Pork croqueta on one side of the little dish, tortilla with quail egg on the other.
The croqueta was amazing, creamy yet incredibly tasty, the tortilla was a bit disappointing; I felt the potato was slightly underdone.
Hamachi crudo with carmelized onion, garlic chips and dried black olives.
So fresh! the acompaniments were each deliciously wonderful and had thier own distinct personality! (I loved the garlic chips!)
Breaded, fried artichoke hearts with oysters in mussel broth with some sort of foam on top.
This one was odd!
I loved it, but it was kind of strange, seafood flavored liquid with fried artichokes in it with grapefruit bits, and a raw oyster chucked in! I thought it was fun but I didn't really get the correlation of all the various ingredients.
DH said it tased like dishwater!
Three versions of Sardines. On the left, a small piece of skin-on sardine served oved potato salad.on the right, in the middle was a lovely breaded crispy fried sardine, and on the right was a char-grilled sardine.
This was DH's favorite savory dish. Each preparation was unique and tasty. I like thie fried the best , but the potato salad was delicious and the grilled sardine was great too.
Flash-fried baby cuttlefish over some sort of black squid ink risotto.
This one surprised me, because the deep fried bits on the plate didn't taste like cuttle fish at all - maybe more like fried clams...but not even as fishy as that!
The risotto was tasty, and I just couldnt stop eating it!
Scrambled duck egg presented with black pepper and salty, delicious, crunchy lamb bacon, served in an eggshell.
WOW - OMG this was incredible, it had intense flavor, salty, and buttery and peppery. The bacon flavor was intense.
Grilled pork belly with grilled octopus.
Another winner! My DH usually won't eat octopus, but it was so tender and had a good char-grilled flavor, that he ate it and enjoyed it.
The pork belly was tender and fatty but had a great cracking crust on top. Very good indeed!
After this course I started to feel full.
Slightly cooked knobs of foie gras on toasted Mallorcan flatbread with lots of little bits of the green parts of scallions.
Well this course was a huge disappointment. Fois Gras is my all time favorite, but here I felt it was totally drowned by flavors that did not even compliment it.
I tried to fish out the bits of Fois gras but they were covered in a Horrible flavor that tasted exactly like Liptons onion soup powder. It was so strong and overpowing, even after only a few bites, my mouth could not rid itself of the taste.
I gave up, and both DH and I left this virtually untouched.
Next came the GOOD Fois Gras course!
After the previous course, I was sooooo happy we added the extra Fois Gras
It was a nice piece of Fois,seared with an olive oil and chocolate sauce, served with pepetas. It was perfection. The chocolate sauce was not sweet but had a rich texture and taste, the oil added silkiness.
The pepetas added crunch and contrast.
I started to struggle here as my belly was getting very full, but I managed to finish it, and I got told off by DH for sticking my fingers in the sauce to lick every last bit. If I was home I seriously would have licked the plate.
I can't remember the preparation, but I was so full by now, that I only managed to taste them.
They were delicious.
I have always been slightly afraid of sweetbreads, but these were so rich and delicious - my mind has been changed. I look forward to trying these again when my belly is less full! DH liked this course.
By this time I was stuffed, and DH had to eat this one for me.
I just managed to taste it, and it too was delicious. Tender and tasty, rolled with mashed potato....very rich and satisfing.
OMG this was the best dessert I have ever had in my entire life. I am not kidding.
Suddenly I had room to finish every last bite!
It was brioche soaked in cream ...very simple....just creamy, buttery doughy goodness...
It was served with grapefruit wedges to cut the richness, and had a crackling layer of burned sugar....They also served a sweet dessert wine with it...it all went together beautifully.
Honestly it was perfection...everything I have always wanted bread pudding to be but never has been...
We had a very moderately priced bottle of wine, and all & all the meal came to $300.
I feel it was worth every penny.
The service was brilliant, and since we were the last patrons, they became very friendly and chatty towards the end of the meal, but never made us feel rushed.
The chef that night was a lovley young French chef by the name of Daniel, and he did a super job.
My only regret is that since we had such a late booking, we went out for a few drinks beforehand. I made the mistake of having beer. i think that's why I got so full so quickly.
Next time, I would still do the 10 courses, but I would NOT have any drinks beforehand to ruin my appetite!