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Manhattan Trip Report

trip report -- Craft, Bouley, Yasuda, Djerdan, Minamoto Kitchoan, etc

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Restaurants & Bars

trip report -- Craft, Bouley, Yasuda, Djerdan, Minamoto Kitchoan, etc

Buford | Jun 29, 2005 02:01 PM

I recently spent a week in New York, and I planned most of my meals using this board.

Places that were worth the money.

Craft. I got the halibut with wild asparagus. The fish was great, moist and flavorful. I messed up the asparagus by contact with the fennel-inflected sauce from the fish, but it was interesting and I guess worth doing. Goat and sheep cheeses were excellent. Strawberry and fig tart was good but ordinary. Of the two kinds of bread, one was ordinary but the other, a seven-grain, was excellent.

Bouley. I can't remember what I got, except that it was well-prepared. What really made the meal, strangely, were the two substantial amuses and three complementary desserts, all of which were packed with flavor. Bread was ordinary though.

Yasuda. As recommended here I made a reservation to sit at the bar for omakase with Yasuda-san. I asked for unusual items and assured him that I would eat anything, though I'm not sure that this much affected what I got. Things did proceed with industrial efficiency, but the quality of the fish made the place qualitatively different from almost any other sushi place anywhere.

Djerdan. Balkan place on 38th Street. I got a grilled trout that was highly seasoned and very good, and steamed vegetables. Blueberry juice wasn't very good though.

Minamoto Kitchoan. High-end Japanese sweet shop, much more ambitious than others I know about. Everything was interesting. Only one or two items were real taste sensations, but others were appealingly strange, like a whole peach carefully embedded in a white jelly.

Places that were disappointing.

Fauchon. I got several cookies that were only slightly better than ones that cost a third as much at other French pastry shops. I also got three $5 macaroons, of which one nut-flavored one was excellent, another lemon-flavored one was okay but sort of obvious, and a raspberry-chocolate one was negligible.

Tocqueville. Inferior to Craft in every way. I got some fish in a broth with vegetables. The broth was okay and one of the vegetables had a mildly interesting and unusual flavor, but in general not much was going on. The bread was ordinary (c'mon, guys, it's not that hard to bake interesting bread!).

Soft salt pretzel from a stand near 42nd and 5th Ave. I had some kind of chemical thing going on in my head when I was eating it. After trying to determine whether it was the pretzel that was causing it, eventually I decided that the carbs weren't worth the trouble and ditched it.

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