I attended a dinner at Tribeca Grill last night that was prepared by the winner and two runners up from the show Top Chef on Bravo. It was a really fun evening, a few of the other contestants were there as well as Dana Cowin and Gail Simmons from Food and Wine. Drew Nierpont a very hospitable host.
The first 45 minutes or so were cocktails and canapes. The cocktails included a delicious passionfruit mojito, a guava magarita that I didnt try and Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne. My favorite canape was a Kampachi & Cucumber Soba, served in a spoon with a yuzu anglaise. There was also an oyster mignonette with some roe on top, I would guess trout roe. the problem with this for me was it was served on a bed of coarse salt so i ended up getting a mouthful of salt. There were also crab dumplings that were ok and a foie gras and apple something served on some sort of dried ham, too much going on for me.
First course was "shrimp cocktail" a shrimp, avocado, american caviar and lemon verbena vinairette. It was beautiful, very citrusy, my one complaint was that I couldnt really taste the avocado. It was paired perfectly with Ruggeri Prosecco "Gold Label"
Next was "tuna nicoise" which was beautifully lightly poached and served in a "nicoise water" sort of gazpacho like. I loved the tuna but the "nicoise water" was bland and didnt add anything to the dish. Paired with Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
"Ducka l'orange" was a poached duck breat with duck cracklings and a chinese soup spoon of tangerine-ponzu sauce. The cracklings were the best part. I think I prefer duck that is a little bit crispy on the outside. the sauce was also very mild. People were saying the dish was too "ducky" if that makes sense to you. Paired with Domaine Audoin Marsannay Rose.
"Steak au Poive" was grilled colorado lamb t-bone, with sunchoke-creamed spinach, chanterelles and a red shallot puree. This was hands down the winner IMO. the lamb was perfectly medium-rare and the spinach was wonderful, not too creamy at all and the sunchokes added some interest. Paired with col solare, columbia valley.
Cheese course was a mongomery cheddar, robiola rochetta and roaring 40s blue cheese, served perfectly at room temp. I'm not generally a blue cheese person but this was delicious, pungent but a little creamy. I loved the robiola as well, delicate and mild but still interesting. Served with mission hill riesling icewine with was amazing. Very sweet and stronly flavored with apples.
The dessert was a "creme brulle," saffron creme in white chocolate-kirsch mouse, pistachio brulee and "rice crispies," it was tough to still be hungry at this point which was fine because it was too sweet for me. I'm not a big dessert person though. It did have a nice consistency.
The wine pairing were top notch and the food was very good, I think they were definitely cooking for their fan base so they wanted to make everything interesting and special, but they may have tried a little too hard in some places.
Overall it was one of the best evenings I've had in a long time.