Archive for the 'NYC +' Category

Tempura Matsui – NYC – July 2015

After a ten month hiatus from posting on my blog I ran into my friends Michael and Linda, The Wandering Epicures, and got to talking about the meals we’ve had since our last meeting. We spoke mostly of restaurants in Japan and California, but it was the comparison of our recent meals at newly opened Tempura Matsui that led me to finally dust off my blogging machine and get this post up.

Since returning from our winter trip to Japan, Rocky has been on the lookout for a good place to get her tempura fix. So when we found out about Chef Masao Matsui’s new spot on East 39th we put our dining shoes on and headed uptown.

tempura matsui place setting

As there is only the one menu option for dinner, all we had to do was order a bottle of sake to get the party started.

tempura matsui sakizuke

tempura matsui sakizuke

Sakizuke: Junsai with Sea Urchin. The first serving was a small bowl of uni, yam, lotus root, wasabi, water lily buds, and vinegar.

tempura matsui zensai

Zensai:

Homemade Sesame Tofu topped with Wasabi and Dashi. The soy-wasabi dashi was great.

Simmered Octopus Sakura-ni. 

Simmered Eggplant Hisui-ni. Topped with bonito flakes.

tempura matsui chawanmushi

tempura matsui chawanmushi

Chawan-mushi with Red Rice, Tai fish and Uni Ankake. Seemingly endless layers of surprises for such a small dish. And a generous amount of urchin.

tempura matsui sashimi tuna abalone

Assorted Sashimi with Tuna, Tai and Sake-Steeped Abalone. A nice sashimi plate I suppose for a tempura restaurant. The tai was beautifully delicate, the tuna beautifully fatty, and the abalone nice and tender with a sauce from its liver.

Tempura:tempura matsui condiments

Condiments: tempura sauce, grated daikon radish, salt, and lemon. Though the tempura was wonderful on its own and mostly didn’t need any dressing.

tempura matsui shrimp heads

Shrimp. First bites of the tempura portion. Two superbly light and subtly savory shrimp heads.

tempura matsui shrimp tail

Shrimp. A perfectly sweet shrimp.

tempura matsui shrimp

Shrimp. And another one.

tempura matsui asparagus

Asparagus. Clean, unobscured flavor.

tempura matsui scallop

Scallop. Wrapped in seaweed. An outstanding serving. The tenderness and sweetness of the scallop were balanced dead on with the savory and crisp seaweed and batter.

tempura matsui cherry tomato

Cherry Tomato. Served far too hot for me, I had to let it cool awhile. Super juicy.

tempura matsui king crab

King Crab. Damn delicious. Like over the top amazing. My favorite of the night.

tempura matsui maitake

Maitake. Straight forward fried mushroom. Very nice.

tempura matsui ginger sproutJapanese Ginger Sprout. Probably my least favorite bite of the meal.

tempura matsui whitefish

Japanese Whitefish. An outstanding show of Matsui’s skill. Very nice fish enhanced by the delicate batter.

From here we were told the planned tempura menu was finished and we were given the option to add more pieces. I elected to have one more of their choice.

tempura matsui tofu uni

Uni. Sea urchin wrapped in tofu skin. Very tasty, intense uni flavor.

tempura matsui conger eel

Hamo with Cucumber and Plum Sauce. A decent enough plate of conger eel.

tempura matsui ten don

tempura matsui ten don shrimp

Ten-don. Shrimp tempura over rice. My second favorite of the night. An excellent handful of shrimp over a fantastic bowl of rice accented by the salty and sweet tentsuyu sauce.

Akadashi Miso Soup. Tasty enough soup. Though Rocky couldn’t finish hers because of the fairly obscene amount of sand in the bowl.

Homemade Pickles. The small dish of very nice pickles was a great condiment.

tempura matsui peach

Peach Compote. Poached peaches in simple syrup. As simple as that. As much as I love the light, fresh Japanese style desserts..I was thankful there is Shake Shack a block up to fulfill Rocky’s dessert demands our appetite for sweets.

tempura matsui chef masao

A very serious Chef Masao Matsui.

tempura matsui kubota manju

Our bottle of Kubota Manju.

Overall a very tasty meal. High quality products treated impeccably. Though I would have preferred the focus to be more on tempura. Especially given the name and all the press declaring it New York’s first real tempura restaurant. I look forward to seeing how Tempura Matsui evolves.

Date of visit:  July 27, 2015

Tempura Matsui. 222 East 39th St, NYC  212 986 8885  www.tempuramatsui.com

Ramen Omakase at Okonomi

When Yuji Ramen was still operating in the Whole Foods Market on Bowery, I used to stop in with moderate frequency for the fantastic mazemen ramen. I had wanted to join in on one of the omakase nights they used to hold, but I never managed to work it out. A couple weeks ago I received an email advertising that the seats were about to go on sale for the next rounds of the newer incarnation of the Yuji Ramen Omakase in their newer Brooklyn space, so I figured I would give it a try.

okonomi yuji place setting

This past Sunday Rocky and I made our way out to Williamsburg to see what Co-Chefs Tara Norvell and Yuji Haraguchi are cooking up at their restaurant Okonomi. I was initially a little miffed by the lack of a wine list or BYO option, but ended up very pleased with how well each of the singular beer and sake offerings flowed seamlessly with the meal. With the beverages in place, we were ready to get the party started.

okonomi red drum fish

First up, Local Red Drum. Lovely local fresh fish to begin. Accompanied by plum soy sauce and a fairly spicy yuzu condiment.

okonomi cured salmon cheese mazemen ramen

Cured Alaskan Salmon Mazemen. With Camembert, shiso buds, and tare soy sauce. The noodles had an amazing bite and the shiso a nice pop. The fish was beautifully complimented by the sweetness of the tare.

okonomi ikura soba orecchietteokonomi ikura soba pear ramen

Ikura. The roe from the same fish as the previous dish. With soba ramen orecchiette and grated pear.

okonomi whole wheat ramen ravioli uniokonomi uni miso ravioli

Whole wheat ramen ravioli. Filled with uni miso. Topped with Maine uni and orange. Again, the dough was wonderfully textured, with great sea urchin taste.

okonomi tilefishokonomi tilefish broth skin

Slices of delicate tilefish, cooked in a dashi of the fish, topped with crispy fried skin from the fish. An excellent expression of the tilefish.

okonomi chips and dip mackerel tataki

‘Chips and Dip’. A chip of fried ramen dough. Alongside a Spanish Mackerel tataki with ginger, scallion, sesame, and quail egg yolk.

okonomi nori ramen agno

okonomi nori monkfish liver

Nori ramen ‘agnolotti’ filled with monkfish liver and topped with fresh grated wasabi. Superb marine richness balanced by the wasabi.

okonomi broth

okonomi ramen broth

Broth of chicken, pork, drum fish, and mackerel. With noodles, scallion, and nori. Purely wholesome. The broth hit on multiple savory levels without being overly fatty or salty.

okonomi shiso tofu pear panna cotta

Shiso tofu panna cotta with fresh pear. Light, herbaceous tofu kicked up with the acid and texture of the pear.

A super fun and remarkably tasty dinner in a relaxed and intimate setting. I’m excited to return to check out Okonomi’s Ichiju Sansai breakfast.

okonomi brooklyn service wear

Date of visit:  October 12, 2014

Okonomi. 150 Ainslie St. Brooklyn, NY  www.okonomibk.com

 

 

Sushi Nakazawa – Sushi Counter

After having dinner in the Sushi Nakazawa dining room two weeks ago, I decided I needed to get back to Commerce Street to have dinner at the sushi counter. So I kept an eye out for openings and secured a reservation for last Monday. I had been told that dinner at the bar is remarkably better than in the dining room(particularly with regards to the integrity of the fare). I wasn’t mislead. Though many of the fish selections and preparations bordered on identical to the week before, the difference between a piece straight from Chef Nakazawa’s hand and a piece that has been plated, sat on the pass, and walked through the room is like night and day. The temperature contrasts make all the difference.

sushi nakazawa sushi counter setting

 

sushi counter daisuke nakazawa

I met my buddy MCL out front just before dinner time and enjoyed the sunshine on a bench until the doors opened promptly at 5:00. We took our corner seats at the counter, ordered up some sake, and got the party started.

sushi nakazawa cherry salmon

Cherry Salmon. From Hokkaido. Supple richness with a good amount of wasabi spice to start off.

sushi nakazawa smoked blackmouth chinook

Smoked Blackmouth Chinook. From Washington. With some light peppery heat.

sushi nakazawa sea scallop

Sea Scallop. ‘Dancing Scallop!’ as Chef called it. From Maine. Acidic, spicy yuzu pepper contrasted nicely against the sweet flesh. Likewise, the cool scallop was great over the warm rice.

sushi nakazawa giant clam geoduck

Giant Clam. Washington geoduck. A brief torching warmed the clam and gave a bit of sweetness from the caramelized soy.

sushi nakazawa sea bream

sushi nakazawa sea bream daikon

Sea Bream. From Awaji Island. A real beauty. Subtly funky from ground daikon. A few days later at work MCL recalled this as the most impressive piece for him.

sushi nakazawa golden eye snapper

Golden Eye Snapper. Shizuoka Kinmedai. With lemon and sea salt. Tender, fatty mouthfeel.

sushi nakazawa barred knifejaw

Barred Knifejaw. Ishidai. Clean taste. Cool temperature.

sushi nakazawa horse mackerel

Horse Mackerel. Kagoshima Aji. Gracefully pure for mackerel. One of my favorite pieces again.

sushi nakazawa sardine

 

sushi nakazawa sardine

Sardine. Straight forward sardine. The taste always takes my memory back to bars in coastal Spain.

sushi nakazawa pickled mackerel

Pickled Mackerel. Aged seven days. With just enough Japanese mustard to support the fish and almost go unnoticed.

sushi nakazawa octopus

sushi nakazawa octopus

Octopus. From Kanagawa. Massaged 45 minutes.

sushi nakazawa tiger prawn

Tiger Prawn. From Madagascar. Boiled briefly. More rich than sweet tasting this time.

sushi nakazawa wild yellowtail

Wild Yellowtail. I think from Oita.

sushi nakazawa smoked bonito

Smoked Bonito. Impeccably, unmistakably smoky. But just enough so to balance well with the fish.

sushi nakazawa lean bluefin tuna

sushi nakazawa lean bluefin tuna

Lean Bluefin Tuna. From Boston. Lovely, pure flavor.

sushi nakazawa medium fatty tuna

sushi nakazawa medium fatty bluefin tuna

Soy Marinated Medium Fatty Bluefin Tuna. With Japanese mustard. A very pretty bite.

sushi nakazawa fatty bluefin tuna

sushi nakazawa fatty bluefin tuna

Fatty Bluefin Tuna. Super oily and lightly torched.

sushi nakazawa santa barbara sea urchin

Sea Urchin Santa Barbara. Hard not to like this. The uni was smooth and cool and was superb as it warmed in the mouth.

sushi nakazawa chum salmon roe

Soy Marinated Chum Salmon. A radical combination of textures and savory layers.

sushi nakazawa sea eel

sushi nakazawa sea eel

Sea Eel. A decent enough piece of eel with eel sauce.

sushi nakazawa egg omelette

sushi nakazawa tamago

Egg Omelette. Again a delightfully light, sweet, and savory egg custard.

sushi nakazawa santa barbara maine uni

Santa Barbara and Maine Sea Urchin. When we were asked if we wanted to repeat or add any bites, MCL asked for more uni. Chef Nakazawa asked us if we wanted Santa Barbara again or Maine. I said both. It was the right move I think.

sushi nakazawa yuzu sorbet berries

Yuzu Sorbet. With berries. The blackberry on the bottom was frozen solid 😦

sushi nakazawa tea

Tea.

sushi nakazawa sake

sushi nakazawa sake

A couple bottles of sake for the evening.

chef daisuke nakazawa sushi

Chef Daisuke Nakazawa looking for pictures of fish to show us.

Date of meal:  March 31, 2014

Sushi Nakazawa. 23 Commerce St. NYC 212.924.2212  www.sushinakazawa.com

Blue Hill at Stone Barns for Rocky’s Birthday

To finish up our stretch of co-birthday celebrations last month, the misses and I rented a car and headed north out of the city and up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns for Rocky’s big birthday bash. Since our two-a-day there last summer, Rocky has been calling BHSB her favorite restaurant in the states and has been eager to go back. So I thought a night in a castle, a day at the spa, and dinner on the farm would be a perfect present for her.

blue hill stone barns winter

blue hill stone barns winter

Arriving on the grounds was certainly an amusing contrast between our bright, sunny, lushly green, borderline-scorching visit in July and our brisk, stark, snow-covered wintertime return.

blue hill stone barns table setting

blue hill stone barns dining room

Making our way into the restaurant, we said hello to some familiar faces and took our seats at the same corner table where we finished up last time.

blue hill stone barns winter cart

blue hill stone barns charcuterie

We got the party started with some bubbles(it was a remarkably bubbly meal) as our guy rolled up and showed off a guéridon boasting an attractive spread of pickled and fermented goodies, dried mushrooms, house made paprika, molasses, speck, and bresaola. Then began an impressive onslaught of snacks and small bites.

blue hill stone barns garden vegetables

blue hill stone barns vegetables fence

Vegetables from the garden. A colorful, flavorful lineup of fresh veggies.

blue hill stone barns ice plant lettuce

Ice lettuce. Tender, fleshy leaved succulent.

blue hill stone barns turnips

blue hill stone barns hakurei turnip

Hakurei turnips.

blue hill stone barns fighter spinach

Fighter spinach with root vegetable powder. Lightly earthy with some sweetness from the powder. Delightful leaves.

blue hill stone barns pig heart pastrami

Pig heart pastrami, last year’s asparagus, cured egg yolk. The acidic asparagus with the rich yolk complemented the salty heart nicely.

blue hill stone barns squash blossoms

Squash blossoms. From special seeds from a seed program at Cornell.

blue hill stone barns beet jerky

Beet jerky. Dried, sweet, chewy. Good stuff.

blue hill stone barns carrot plankton crackers

Crackers:  Carrot with curry and seeds. And phytoplankton with tiny shrimp.

blue hill stone barns jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke with curry. Soft, sweet, and lightly starchy inside with rich, thick skin.

blue hill stone barns beets rice

blue hill stone barns beet sushi

Beet ‘sushi’ with sprouted grains.

blue hill stone barns potato

A potato trio.

blue hill stone barns yeasted potato

Yeasted potato. Crispy potato shell with smooth potato puree and chewy cubes of beets.

blue hill stone barns potato caviar

Marbled potato with creme fraiche and caviar. Sweet, salty, almost heavenly. A superb bite.

blue hill stone barns mussel seaweed

Tart with mussel, beer, and seaweed.

blue hill stone barns crispy kale cabbage

Kale & Cabbage. Delicately crisp and perfectly salted.

blue hill stone barns boar sausage

blue hill stone barns boar pepperoncino pickles

Boar sausage with some kick ass pickles.

blue hill stone barns whelks lardo

Whelks and lardo. Sweet, meaty sea snails.

blue hill stone barns beetfurter

Beetfurter. A playful sausage of beets and pork. With preserved tomato.

blue hill stone barns beet burger

blue hill stone barns beet burger

Tiny beet burgers. Complete with bacon and a grilled sesame crown.

blue hill stone barns pork liver chocolate

Pork liver and chocolate. Hard-hitting with a rich lingering chocolate finish.

blue hill stone barns beet cart

blue hill stone barns beet tartare

blue hill stone barns beet tartare cart

Our guy rolled up again with another guéridon. This one decked out with a variety of ingredients and service ware. He gave us a spiel about how much they love beets at Blue Hill and how they sometimes go overboard with them. As he stood at his cart mixing up a beet tartare, a few other beet items arrived.

blue hill stone barns beet borscht

Beet borscht.

blue hill stone barns borscht scallop

blue hill stone barns scallop beet borscht caviar

A large, meaty cut of scallop with caviar and borscht. The salinity of the caviar struck a good balance between the scallop and the beet. The best plate of the beet series.

blue hill stone barns beet series

blue hill stone barns beet tartare quail yolk

Beet tartare with quail egg yolk. Despite all the added spices and condiments, this was still very sweet and a burden to finish.

blue hill stone barns beet bolognese

Beet ‘bolognese’. Polenta with a meaty beet and bacon sauce.

blue hill stone barns biochar

blue hill stone barns squid celery root charcoal

blue hill stone barns biochar

blue hill stone barns cabbage quince

We were presented with examples of Blue Hill’s biochar process. Then a few items prepared with the biochar. First a pretty effing delicious, dense, dark mix of squid, celery root, and charcoal. Then a badass wedge of cabbage cooked over biochar and topped with speck alongside an uninspired quince puree.

blue hill stone barns ricotta

blue hill stone barns whole wheat brioche

blue hill stone barns ricotta brioche

In-house ricotta. Whole wheat brioche. Kale and green vegetable marmalade. Black pepper. A welcome repeat from our last visit and a wonderful combination. Rich, fatty ricotta with sweet, vegetal marmalade, spicy black pepper, and toasty, buttery brioche.

blue hill stone barns broccoli cheddar

blue hill stone barns broccoli cheddar

Broccoli & Cheddar. A perfectly tender yet firm broccoli stem with cheddar foam, seeds, and sprouts.

blue hill stone barns fighter spinach

blue hill stone barns cod head

A marvelous little bowl of fighter spinach and seaweed along with a salty, meaty cod head. Rocky didn’t do so well with this fish, so I got the majority here. It had some glutinously gelatinous highlights. The eyes were particularly chewy and tasty.

blue hill stone barns parsnip bordelais

blue hill stone barns parsnip bordelais

Bordelais – parsnip ‘steak’ topped with bone marrow, fried egg, and bordelais sauce with accompaniments of creamed spinach, caramelized onion, and cabbage ketchup. The parsnip was nice at first but got tiresome. The egg and onions were nice. The spinach was fairly bland.

blue hill stone barns bread service

Bread service:  potato onion bread, local butter, corn salt, beet salt.

blue hill stone barns venison

Halloran Farms venison with brussels sprouts, cabbage, and caraway. Some quality cuts of gamey venison. The sprouts were amazing – nutty, almost sweet – the best part of the plate.

blue hill stone barns cheese cart

blue hill stone barns cheese plate

blue hill stone barns cheese

Another service cart rolls up. This time with a giant wheel of Rupert, an aged raw cow milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont. Our guy shaved several strips off the wheel and served them up with quince, pumpkin seeds, and rye sourdough pretzels.

blue hill stone barns parsnip sorbet

blue hill stone barns parsnip sorbet

Parsnip sorbet with lemon and charcoal. The tart lemon rind set off the sweet parsnip.

blue hill stone barns vanilla caramel birthday cake

A vanilla caramel birthday cake for Rocky!

blue hill stone barns honey tasting

blue hill stone barns honey tasting

blue hill stone barns seasonal honey dessert

Honey expressions. Three textures of honey from three seasons. Spring honey with carrot and tarragon. Summer honey with Carolina Gold Rice. Fall honey with pistachio. Quite a tasting. The summer and fall were dynamite. Presented handsomely in stacking dishes resembling honeycomb cells.

blue hill stone barns petit fours

blue hill stone barns mignardises

blue hill stone barns sourdough biscuit berry jam

A fairly serious spread of sweet treats. Sourdough biscuits with berry jam. Apple. Dried honeycomb with chocolate, stunning. Quince pate de fruits. Crispy, sweet dried carrots. Honey truffles. Blue Hill Oreos. Arugula meringue resembling needles in a haystack.

blue hill stone barns white chocolate eggs

White chocolate eggs with candy cap mushroom. These sounded interesting but were overly sugary and fairly awful.

blue hill stone barns dried fruit

Hazelnut ‘puppy chow’. Wheat clusters. Dehydrated slices of apple. Light, melt-away carrot chips. Cookie tuiles.

As I mentioned at the top of the post, it was a remarkably bubbly meal.

blue hill stone barns michel rocourt  champagne

My buddy Charles greeted us with some Michel Rocourt Blanc de Blancs.

blue hill stone barns jerome prevost  la closerie

We followed up with La Closerie.

blue hill stone barns vouette sorbee fidele

And then Vouette & Sorbée fidèle.

Chardonnay into Pinot Meunier into Pinot Noir. The sharp, crisp Rocourt was a nice treat to begin. Then two amazing bottles from my two favorite producers of the moment. What Jérôme Prévost does with Pinot Meunier on his tiny two hectare vineyard Les Béguines in Gueux is magical. And Bertrand Gautherot’s Vouette & Sorbée wines are consistently compelling show stoppers. Some damn sexy grape juice to celebrate my little lady’s birthday.

Date of visit:  March 2, 2014

Blue Hill at Stone Barns. 630 Bedford Road. Pocantico Hills, NY  914 366 9600

www.bluehillfarm.com

 

Sushi Nakazawa – Dining Room

Last week Rocky and I made our way down to the West Village to see what Chef Daisuke Nakazawa is cooking up (and serving raw) at Alessandro Borgognone’s new spot on Commerce Street, Sushi Nakazawa. I wasn’t actively chasing a reservation, more looking through popular restaurants’ availability out of curiosity, when a table popped up in the Nakazawa dining room. So I figured we should go check it out.

sushi nakazawa table setting

We showed up super excited, took our seats, and delved into the beverage list. The range of sake on offer is impressive, but we opted to go for bubbles along with our Omakase. I got a really excited and went a little over budget when I saw Vouette & Sorbée Blanc d’Argile… amazing juice.

sushi nakazawa vouette sorbee blanc

I’m not incredibly experienced when it comes to high end sushi, nor am I very educated about Japanese cuisine in general. So I don’t have a good base of comparison, but I thought our meal here was pretty solid. Clean, intentional, and at times very precise flavors.

I apologize ahead:  I’ll do my best to name all the pieces appropriately, though some I’m not sure about and others I’m completely clueless on. Twice I was told that someone would be happy to write a menu of the fish we were served, though when it was time to pack up and go a guy asked for my email and said he would send me the list instead. Now, a week later, I’m assuming it’s not coming. Anyways..here’s how it went down.(The descriptors will go from the right side of the plate to the left.)

sushi nakazawa salmon

Alaskan King Salmon. Rich, full flavor.

Maybe Sea trout?  Smoked with some very special wood.

sushi nakazawa scallop geoduck

Scallop. Yuzu pepper, sake sauce. Cool, meaty slices of scallop beautifully complimented by the sake. The pepper finish was long and spicy.

Washington Geoduck. Seared. Fantastic texture. Subtle but defined taste. The gentle sear was nice.

sushi nakazawa cusk sable porgy

Cusk. Yuzu pepper, ponzu.

Sable. Nikiri(sweet soy sauce), a little bonito. A superb bite. One of the best of the meal. Rocky’s favorite.

Porgy. Yuzu zest. Slightly metallic tasting.

sushi nakazawa aji herring

Aji(Horse Mackerel). Ginger, nikiri. Fantastic.

Silver Stripe Herring. Nikiri. Strongly flavored, a little fishy.

Herring. Very nice with a subtle wasabi type spice and an almost pickle-ish taste.

sushi nakazawa tiger prawn spearhead squid

Madagascar Tiger Prawn. Nikiri. Good texture with a rewarding shrimpy sweetness.

Spearhead Squid. Japanese pepper leaf. I thought it was a great bite, but the smooth kind of gummy feel on one side didn’t work for Rocky.

sushi nakazawa spanish mackerel

Something that sounded like ‘Kawati’ ? A little stronger sauce was well suited on the stronger fish.

Spanish Mackerel. Cured black pepper. Soft, fleshy, buttery.

sushi nakazawa blue fin tuna

Blue Fin Tuna. An elegant, pure flavored lean cut subtly enhanced by the Japanese mustard spice.

Blue Fin Tuna. A fatty cut, marinated and seared, with a bit of the same mustard. Biting this was like an immediate fat explosion that coated the whole mouth. Rocky said: ‘That’s something special. Better than a cheeseburger.’

sushi nakazawa uni salmon roe

Maine Uni. Just wonderful. And I got to eat two since Rocky has some type of uni-phobia.

Alaskan Chum Salmon Roe. Soy marinated. Superb combination of tastes and textures between the roe, seaweed, and rice. Bordering on mind blowing.

sushi nakazawa eel tamago

Eel. With eel sauce. Pretty straight forward eel.

Tamago. The piece that made Chef Nakazawa famous in the Jiro documentary. A delightfully light, sweet and savory egg custard.

From here we were asked if we wanted to repeat any pieces or try some others. We opted for a little of both.

sushi nakazawa uni jackknife drum

Jackknife Something. From Japan. Dense and almost tangy.

Some silvery fish.

A red-edged piece of fish of some kind with a super intense fatty and salty flavor.

Santa Barbara Uni. Velvety and supple sea urchin. I got to eat two again. Score.

sushi nakazawa tiger prawn sable aji

Madagascar Tiger Prawn.

Aji(Horse Mackerel).

Sable.

sushi nakazawa tea

Tea.

sushi nakazawa yuzu sorbet pineapple

Yuzu. Sorbet with berries.

Pineapple. Fresh and intensely sweet.

daisuke nakazawa sushi

An apparently very happy Chef Daisuke Nakazawa.

Date of meal:  March 24, 2014

Sushi Nakazawa. 23 Commerce St. NYC  212.924.2212  www.sushinakazawa.com

Eleven Madison Park. NYC

My birthday and Rocky’s are eight days apart. We’ve made a habit of making the celebrations span a few weeks. Last month, between our birthdays, on a beautiful February Sunday, we celebrated with an outstanding lunch at Eleven Madison Park. We showed up ahead of schedule and sipped some bubbles at the bar before sitting at our splendid corner table.

eleven madison park table setting

eleven madison park dining room

eleven madison park brooklyn knifeeleven madison park punch cardseleven madison park flavor tabs

On the table was a knife we used to open an envelope containing two punch cards offering four different flavors:  maple, cranberry, fennel, apple. We were told we had to pick a flavor that would appear later in our meal. Rocky picked apple. I chose fennel.

eleven madison park black and white cookieseleven madison park cheddar apple cookies

eleven madison park apple cheddar black and white cookie

CHEDDAR  Savory Black and White Cookie with Apple. To kick off the meal, EMP’s most recent adaptation of the New York classic. A cheesy savory biscuit complemented nicely by the sweet apple filling.

eleven madison park oyster vichyssoise

emp oyster vichyssoise caviar

OYSTER  Vichyssoise and Caviar. A dense Spring Creek Oyster, dotted with caviar, resting in creamy vichyssoise. The rich sauce  was a good base for the dual salinity. Good stuff.

eleven madison park scallopeleven madison park scallop apple pine

emp scallop apple pine water chestnut

SCALLOP  Marinated with Apple, Pine, and Water Chestnut. A solid enough East Coast scallop spiced up with horseradish and cooled off with yogurt. Some apple snow gave the plate a nice lasting acidity.

eleven madison park smoked bone marrowemp beef bone marroweleven madison park beef tartare caviar

BEEF  Tartare with Caviar and Smoked Bone Marrow. A decadent treat. Somehow the smoked marrow and raw beef didn’t kill the caviar with richness. Great balance.

eleven madison park beef pastrami pickles sodaeleven madison park apple fennel soda

eleven madison park pastramieleven madison park deli rye bread

BEEF  Pastrami with Pickles, Rye, Mustard, and Apple/Fennel. An homage to NYC delis. Rye bread with mustard, black garlic, and endive, pickles, a couple slices of pastrami, and sodas – apple flavored for Rocky and fennel for me. A super fun and pretty delicious course. Both the sodas were awesome.

eleven madison park seared foie gras

emp foie gras hazelnut sunchoke

FOIE GRAS  Seared with Sunchokes, Hazelnuts, and Solera Vinegar. At the outset of the meal we were each asked if we wanted our foie gras seared or cured. Naturally I wanted both but we ended up going one and one and I got to eat the majority of each. This presentation was fantastic. The foie was superb with the sweet and earthy accompaniments.

eleven madison park cured foie gras

emp cured foie gras sunchokes mustard greens

FOIE GRAS  Cured with Sunchokes and Fermented Mustard Greens. The mustard seeds and fermented greens added a nice depth to the plate, but we both preferred the seared presentation.

emp waldorf salad cookbookeleven madison park waldorf salad carteleven madison park waldorf salademp waldorf salad recipeemp waldorf salad double bowl

eleven madison park waldorf salad granola

APPLE  Waldorf Salad with Celery, Cranberries, and Walnuts. Apple and celery root dressed in lemon mayonnaise with cranberries, blue cheese, and candied walnuts. The service cart that rolled up with the mise en place for this course was impressive. The story of the dish, the preparation, and the beautiful antique cookbook were remarkable. The salad itself was mediocre at best. Rocky asked me if she had to finish hers. Though beneath the salad in the two part bowl was a granola and yogurt reinterpretation that was pretty nice. The strong celery taste of the granola was great, but it was still just yogurt and granola. Too bad the food didn’t match the grandeur of the service for this one.

eleven madison park kitchen table cocktail

eleven madison park kitchen table cocktail

Rocky and I were invited into the kitchen and shown to a standing high-top table where we were served a modernist interpretation of a penicillin cocktail. Scotch, ginger, honey…boozy fun.

eleven madison park lobster clam sea urchin

emp lobster razor clam

LOBSTER  Poached with Razor Clam, Sea Urchin, and Kale. First, a cold plating of the course. Tangy lobster salad stuffed inside a claw, sea urchin panna cotta, and razor clam with pear, roe, and kale puree. The clam and pear slices were strongly flavored and were great with the earthy vegetal kale.

eleven madison park lobster razor clam kale

eleven madison park lobster kale razor clam

emp lobster uni clam

LOBSTER  Poached with Razor Clam, Sea Urchin, and Kale. And then, the warm plating of the course. Sweet, rich lobster tail, sea urchin foam, meaty razor clam, a nice slice of pear, and an amazing kale leaf that tasted as if it may have been cooked in lobster stock and butter. A sublimely superb plate.

eleven madison park celery root black truffle

emp celery root truffle

CELERY ROOT  Braised with Black Truffle. A sphere carved from the core of braised celery root and doused with powerfully rich and fragrant black truffle jus. Alongside was some celery root puree under which sprawled black truffle puree. Wonderful intensity of earthy flavors.

eleven madison park honey lavender glazed duck

eleven madison park duck broth sausage

DUCK  Broth with Sausage and Gruyère. At the start of the meal, another choice we had to make was between duck or pork for the final savory. I’ll  choose their honey lavender glazed duck every time. The bird was presented, then carved and plated while we had a small bowl of duck broth with a kick ass gruyère and duck sausage chip with some kickin mustard seed acidity.

eleven madison park honey lavender glazed duck

emp glazed duckemp glazed duck side

DUCK  Roasted with Lavender, Honey, and Rutabaga. An outstanding roasted duck breast with rutabaga and citrus duck jus. The bowl served beside the feature was something along the lines of confit duck leg with a dense foamy foie gras sauce.

eleven madison park picnic basketeleven madison park picnic basket

emp picnic cheese courseemp cheese course

eleven madison park picnic cheese course

GREENSWARD  Pretzel, Onion, and Dried Fruit. A picnic basket complete with everything we needed to have a cheese course picnic. The feature was a cut of Greensward, a raw cow milk cheese by Jasper Hill Farms(Vermont) that is washed with Ithaca Beer Co’s Picnic Basket Ale and wrapped in spruce. Alongside was dried fruit, onion jam, and pretzel bread; the latter two were flavored with the aforementioned beer, a bottle of which was included in the basket. Good times.

eleven madison park sweet potato espresso orangeSWEET POTATO  Curd with Espresso Meringue and Orange Sorbet. A strikingly brilliant plate. Compelling compliments between multiple sweet and multiple bitter elements and the sourish citrus acidity. This had me going until the end: ‘Wow…what’s happening??’

emp baked alaskaemp baked alaskaeleven madison park baked alaska

emp baked alaska apple

emp baked alaska fennel

VANILLA  Baked Alaska with Rum, Raisin, and Apple/Fennel. Vanilla ice cream enclosed in a thick layer of meringue arrived on our table and was flambéed while our guy explained the history of the Baked Alaska dessert. It disappeared back to the kitchen and arrived again later plated up with Rocky’s and my preordained flavors of apple and fennel. Between the initial presentation and the final plating the portion curiously shrunk dramatically in size. I’m guessing the rest got tossed, but we sure did want to eat it.

eleven madison park chocolate pretzel

PRETZEL  Chocolate Covered with Sea Salt. A pretty delicious mildly crunchy, sweet, chocolatey pretzel.

emp black white cookieeleven madison park black and white cookies

eleven madison park black white

CHOCOLATE  Sweet Black and White Cookie with Cinnamon. To finish the meal, EMP’s current sweet iteration of the NYC classic. Oatmeal flour, Saigon cinnamon, and Mast Brothers chocolate.

emp birthday take home

And some handsome birthday treats to take home. They tasted like PB&J chocolates.

Some wines we drank:

emp champagneemp faiveley

emp gaubyemp tokaji

Date of meal:  February 23, 2014

Eleven Madison Park. 11 Madison Avenue. NYC  212.889.0905  elevenmadisonpark.com

Little Elm at The Elm, Brooklyn

Last month for my birthday, Rocky offered to take me out and buy me dinner at a restaurant of my choice. I decided to go with something new that neither of us had tried. After a little back and forth I chose to visit Little Elm, the tasting counter at The Elm in Williamsburg, to see what Chef Mazen Mustafa is cooking.

little elm counter setting

Following up a wonderful birthday lunch, a stop at the bar at the NoMad, and a quick nap at home, we made our way across the water to the King & Grove Hotel, home of The Elm. We checked our coats, dried off from the rain a moment, took our seats, ordered a bottle of bubbles, and got the party started.

little elm amuse bouche trio

An amusing trio to begin:

little elm seabuckthorn

Sweet and tart, delicately crisp sea buckthorn.

little elm parmesan crisps

Parmesan crisps dusted with acidic tomato powder.

little elm red miso financier

Red miso financiers with yuzu ricotta. A nice savory/sweet/sour bite.

little elm black bass

Black Bass | Hon Shimeji. A crudo of bass with pickled hon shimeji mushroom, caviar, radish, and dashi gelee. Great intensity of flavor without being too strong. It would have been nice to have another utensil; eating this with the large fork was brutal.

little elm foie gras

little elm foie gras brioche

little elm foie gras black trumpet mushroom

Foie Gras | Black Trumpet. A solid dish. Super smooth foie gras topped with gelee of black trumpet mushroom spiced with peppercorn, accompanied by compressed apple, celery root and sake puree, and a perfectly toasted slice of thai long pepper brioche.

little elm scallop crudo

Nantucket Bay Scallop | Tom Yum. The first service of the scallop was a crudo topped with shaved marcona almond, shio, and kombu. Not sure what the marinade or dressing on the scallop itself was, but it was superb. Effing amazing little dish all around. Even the savory aroma was intoxicating. Easily my favorite course of the meal.

little elm nantucket bay scallop

Nantucket Bay Scallop | Tom Yum. In the second service of the scallop, they were roasted and served with ricotta gnudi, tom yum sauce foam, and lime zest. The pairing of the scallops with the gnudi was very nice. Though the mild lingering heat didn’t quite balance and for me the citrus in the plate stood out against the richness instead of calming it.

little elm lobster

little elm maine lobster tail

Lobster | Brown Butter. The first lobster plate was roasted Maine lobster tail with heirloom beets, tomatillo puree, and a bizarre but strangely good black garlic balsamic reduction. The beets were very nice though I didn’t quite understand them with the lobster. The tomatillo was far too spicy for my midwest white boy spice tolerance.

little elm lobster pasta

Lobster | Brown Butter. The second lobster dish was torchietti pasta with tomato and pork ‘XO sauce’ over a huge chunk of lobster mitt. A pretty solid pasta dish with a good level of lasting heat.

little elm lamb neck

little elm lamb neck eggplant

Elysian Fields Lamb | Eggplant. A very fatty, overly rich cut of lamb neck served with eggplant, radish, a very nice mix of quinoa and almond, and a strong sauce.

little elm stichelton

little elm cheese plate

Stichelton | Pear. Stichelton blue cheese with textures of pear, vadouvan spices, and mustard oil. A great composed cheese course. The creamy spicy blue with the pear along with some riesling auslese was fantastic.

little elm popcorn millefeuille

Puff Pastry | Popcorn. Damn. This was a kick ass little dessert. Popcorn mille-feuille with a little apple. Rocky and I saw a much larger version of this plate go out to the dining room a few times and we’ve been talking of returning for it since.

little elm chocolate dessert

little elm chocolate berry

Chocolate | Berry. A small bar of chocolate feuilletine cake covered in dark chocolate alongside some huckleberry jam and a quenelle of huckleberry and red fruit sorbet. Delicious.

little elm petit fours

Petit Fours. Green Chartreuse cream puff. Smoked cookies & cream financier. Yuzu ricotta chocolate. Thai tea canelé. Coffee cardamom canelé. Black cherry pâte de fruit. The financier, chocolate, and pdf were tasty. The Chartreuse cream puff was superb, light and almost fluffy with a good dose of the herbal flavor I love. The canelés, while flavored well, were abysmal. Terribly textured and tasting almost of raw egg inside, I have to wonder if anyone tasted this batch before serving them.

Some wines we were served:

little elm champagnelittle elm red meursaultlittle elm 1989 riesling

Overall a fun and memorable birthday dinner. I look forward to returning to The Elm to try their burger and have a giant popcorn mille-feuille.

little elm dining room

little elm chefs counter

Date of visit:  February 20, 2014

Little Elm. 160 N 12th St. Brooklyn, NY  718.218.1088  theelmnyc.com

Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Two-a-day, Part 2

Feeling elated from an incredible lunch and enthusiastic for our impending dinner, Rocky and I headed back to Stone Barns a little early to do a bit more exploring of the grounds before taking our seats for round two of our Blue Hill two-a-day. (click here for round one)

blue hill stone barns table setting

Once again, this post is coming eight months after the meal, so I’m going to keep it fairly brief with any details I happen to remember or have jotted down.

blue hill stone barns garden vegetables

Vegetables from the garden.

blue hill rhubarb

Rhubarb strips.

blue hill kohlrabi

Baby kohlrabi from the garden.

blue hill pig heart pastrami

Pig heart pastrami.

blue hill radishes

Radishes from the greenhouse.

blue hill pea corn shoots

Pea and corn shoots. To be snipped and dragged through lemon vinaigrette with aleppo pepper and bee pollen.

blue hill blueberry lardo pancakes

Blueberry, honey, and lardo pancakes. Tremendous.

blue hill chocolate pork liver

Chocolate and pork liver.

blue hill asparagus burgers

Mini asparagus burgers.

blue hill coppa flatbread

blue hill stone barns coppa flatbread

Coppa flatbread. Crispy and hammy.

blue hill yogurt carrot sorbet

blue hill yogurt beet sorbet

Toasted yogurt. One with carrot sorbet, the other with beet sorbet.

blue hill green garden gazpacho

blue hill gazpacho buffalo yogurt

Green garden gazpacho(cucumber, zucchini, herbs) with buffalo yogurt and a polenta chocolate wheat chip.

blue hill clams peas lardo

Local clams, peas, lardo. Superb green combination of peas, fava beans, and asparagus with lovely clams(razor and some other). Though the dish was topped with too much lardo for my taste.

blue hill zucchini

Zucchini, nasturtium, almond. A lovely, juicy cut of squash.

blue hill stone barns peas lilies

blue hill peas daylily

Peas, bio-char onions, daylily. Damn. Amazing. I still think of this little dish occasionally. The charred allium taste was sublime with the perfect peas. The daylily was a lifting lightly floral compliment.

blue hill goose egg pasta

Handmade goose egg pasta(made with minimal flour) with basil and cured immature egg yolk. Another winner. Rocky still talks about this dish occasionally.

blue hill bread service

Potato onion bread with Hudson Valley butter, Tulip’s butter(Normandy cow), Blue Hill lardo, and corn salt.

blue hill stone barns turkey breast

Turkey breast, heart, and liver accompanied with beet and strawberry.

blue hill stone barns hudson valley lamb

Hudson Valley lamb with morels and dragon radish.

blue hill cheese board

Sweet Berry Farm black sheep cheese in the style of goat cheese. With rye bread and rhubarb compote.

blue hill stone barns blueberry buttermilk

Blueberry with frozen Stone Barns buttermilk. Tart sweet berries and rich buttermilk served super cold. Good stuff.

blue hill stone barns strawberry cannelloni

Strawberry ‘cannelloni’ with creme fraiche and balsamic reduction. A kick ass berries and cream plate.

blue hill stone barns mignardises

Oh boy…mignardises on bark. They were something along the lines of:  chocolate corn flakes, chocolate pumpkin seeds, honeyed chocolate, minty chocolate, chocolate raspberry lollipop, chocolate covered hazelnuts.

A couple wines of the night:

blue hill wineblue hill wine

And that’s my recap of our Blue Hill at Stone Barns two-a-day from last June. Rocky and I are amped to join Chef Dan Barber and crew again for her birthday dinner this weekend. Hopefully I can get the post for that one done in under eight months this time.

Oh yeah…as we were leaving the restaurant, the ‘Super Moon’ was in full effect(though covered with clouds).

blue hill stone barns super moon

Date of meal:  June 23, 2013

Blue Hill at Stone Barns. 630 Bedford Road. Pocantico Hills, NY  914 366 9600

www.bluehillfarm.com

Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Two-a-day, Part 1

As I’m sitting in my UWS apartment in the middle of a cold NYC winter, I’m looking back on some of my dining moments from last summer. One particularly hot and sunny day in June, Rocky and I found ourselves at the hands of Chef Dan Barber and his team at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. When I was making the plans for the trip I figured that as long as we were making the trek from city, we may as well make it a two-a-day. It was quite a remarkable pair of meals. Since then Rocky has claimed the restaurant to be her favorite that we’ve visited in the states. Now, in late February, with Rocky’s birthday just a few days away, we have some solid weekend plans in place, which include her b-day dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. So I suppose now is as good a time as I’ll have to finally share our BHSB two-a-day. (click here for part 2)

blue hill stone barns

blue hill stone barns greenhouses

blue hill stone barns greenhouse

We showed up early to get a snack from the Blue Hill Cafe and tour the grounds before the restaurant opened.

blue hill stone barns

blue hill stone barns table setting

Once lunch time came we got straight to it. I won’t go too much into details. I think the photos(while of questionable quality) speak for themselves.

blue hill stone barns vegetables

blue hill farm vegetables

Vegetables from the farm.

blue hill farm first zucchini

First zucchini from the farm.

blue hill farm radishes

Radishes from the greenhouse. Cool, brisk, and pretty spicy.

blue hill rhubarb

Rhubarb poached in a little sugar.

blue hill pea vichyssoise

Pea vichyssoise with crispy quinoa and snow peas. Out of this world. Easily among my favorite bites of the day.

blue hill weeds pea popcorn shootsblue hill farm weeds shoots

Weeds from the garden with lemon verbena vinegar. Pea and popcorn shoots, to be snipped and dipped in tarragon pesto.

blue hill fennel pepperoncino

blue hill fennel pepper knife

Fennel sausage. And Rocky with a sharp knife. Slicing away like a pro.

blue hill trio

blue hill parsnip yolk pie

blue hill strawberry granola bar

blue hill whoopee pie

Parsnip, egg yolk, and pancetta ‘pie’.

Strawberry marmelade granola bars.

Charcoal whoopee pie with minty cream.

blue hill asparagus pancetta

Asparagus and pancetta.

blue hill bone marrow

blue hill bone marrow

Veal bone marrow with beef heart. Sweet and rich.

blue hill celtuce

blue hill celtuce

Celtuce, diced and in a broth. With pinenut, Blue Hill yogurt, shungiku, and green apple. Cool, vegetal, fresh.

blue hill mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella, strawberry, sesame, bone marrow.

blue hill brioche ricotta

blue hill ricotta brioche

Blue Hill ricotta, whole grain brioche, swiss chard & kale.

After this we were led out of the dining room through a side exit and escorted outside to a small shed with a beautifully set table where we had our next few courses.

blue hill outdoor diningblue hill stone barns shed

blue hill table setting

Certainly this was quite an amazing place to enjoy a good part of our meal. We took in the setting for a bit and then this stunning spread showed up:

blue hill asparagus

blue hill butter lettuce coppa

blue hill borscht

blue hill vegetables

blue hill spread

blue hill vegetables

Asparagus over larch. Butter lettuce with coppa. Pea stew. Borscht. And a center piece of wax beans, rapini, orach, chorizo sauce, almond saffron sauce, and shavings of almond, hazelnut, egg yolk, and Treviso cheese. Home run. I would gladly indulge in this impressive offering any day.

blue hill lobster tacos

blue hill fourchu lobster tacos

blue hill lobster kohlrabi tacos

Next up: Tacos. Fourchu lobster, kohlrabi, ham hock, artichoke, strawberry compote, carrot puree, coriander, watermelon molasses hot sauce, and smoked salt with lobster roe.

We were invited to linger awhile, and while it was tempting to spend more of the day in the serene setting, we thought it prudent to keep the meal progressing. Moving back into the dining room:

blue hill egg yolk zucchini

Blue Hill egg yolk, zucchini, ham. A small, quick, and rich little plate.

blue hill bread service

Potato onion bread. Whipped lard. Butters from Annabelle and Jillian(Jersey and Normandy cows).

blue hill pork jowl

blue hill pork jowl

Blue Hill pork jowl with mulberry, wineberry, fennel, and herb sauce.

blue hill sheep cheese

Local sheep milk cheese rolled in vegetable ‘bio-char’. With radish salad and a rye pretzel.

blue hill raspberry elderflower

Tart, sweet raspberry with floral elderflower foam and frozen pistachio butter. Delicious.

blue hill corn crumble currant almond

Corn crumble, milk sorbet, currant compote, and almond cake.

blue hill chocolate eggs

Chocolate eggs with milk jam. Creamy and crunchy with a lasting smooth chocolate finish.

A few beverages from lunch:

blue hill champagne roseblue hill champagneblue hill wineblue hill coffee

An incredibly impressive and poetic first meal at Stone Barns. Rocky and I couldn’t wait to get back for dinner to see what was in store for round two of our day.

(click here for round two)

Date of meal:  June 23, 2013

Blue Hill at Stone Barns. 630 Bedford Road. Pocantico Hills, NY  914 366 9600

www.bluehillfarm.com

Birthday Lunch at Gramercy Tavern

Last Thursday was my 33rd birthday. For my gift Rocky wanted to take me to lunch and dinner. We thought we were going to have to wait until the weekend to celebrate(since Sunday is our big day off together), but I actually got my birthday off from work, as did she. So I started looking for dining options. I decided to go with one place I know and love for lunch(Gramercy Tavern) then another place I’d never been to for dinner.

Gramercy Tavern is an amazing restaurant. And Chef Michael Anthony is a bad ass. So we went in for lunch with high hopes and came out singing praises as much as ever.

gramercy tavern table setting

We got the party started with a bottle of Marc Hebrart Champagne and ordered up the tasting menu(which is an insanely good deal) with a few supplements(of course).

gramercy tavern oysters

Oysters. I had just been trying to figure out how I was going to work an oyster stop into the bday schedule, then here they come. One raw, fresh and light. One cooked and topped with kale, hearty and meaty.

gramercy tavern lobster salad

gramercy tavern lobster salad

Lobster Salad. Winter Squash, Spinach and Sesame. With generous chunks of lobster and a fun addition of roe. The squash, diced and pureed, was a nice compliment, not too sweet. The topping of yuzu foam I didn’t care for too much.

gramercy tavern ruby red shrimp

gramercy tavern ruby red shrimp

Ruby Red Shrimp. Sweet Potato, Farro, Pine Nuts and Brussels Sprouts. A superb plate. The shrimp was well executed and well complimented. The farro and pine nuts gave a great texture. The sweet potato, parsnip, jalapeño sauce gave a light spice.

gramercy tavern halibut

Halibut. Cauliflower, Cabbage and American Caviar. A good piece of fish atop slightly caramelized cauliflower and soured cabbage. The light vinegar/pickled taste of the cabbage really set off the dish.

gramercy tavern lobster pappardelle

Scallop & Lobster Pappardelle. Chorizo, Scallions and Mussels. A tasty seafood pasta. A sprinkle of toasted bread crumb was nice for some crunch. The light chorizo spice was good for a little kick.

gramercy tavern mushroom barley arugula

Mushrooms & Barley. Arugula, Olives and Parsnips. Another superb plate. The barley was cooked to a wonderful al dente texture. The variety of mushrooms were all seasoned and cooked amazingly to earthy, savory goodness. A small amount of diced parsnip threw in a playful sweetness.

gramercy tavern pork loin

Roasted Pork Loin. Turnips, Buckwheat Ravioli and Charred Onion Broth. Super clean flavors. Moist slices of pork loin. The crisp, fresh root vegetables were fantastic. The strips of seaweed with the allium broth were killer.

gramercy tavern pre dessert shot

Pre-dessert. Apple consomme, pomegranate seeds, lychee foam. Fresh, layered sweetness with  a seedy crunch.

gramercy tavern blood orange buttermilk tapioca

Blood Orange. Buttermilk, Pistachio, Tapioca and Cara Cara. When this dessert landed I was thinking how thankful I was I ordered extras. After a few bites my thoughts did a 180. This was a bad ass little bowl. A great combo of sweet and bitter citrus layers with rich buttermilk set off by the textures of the tapioca and candied pistachios.

gramercy tavern birthday cake

gramercy tavern coconut cake

Coconut Birthday Cake. A nice surprise. For how much I don’t like coconut cake, this was actually pretty enjoyable.

gramercy tavern chocolate banana slice

Chocolate Banana Slice. Caramel, Sesame, Black Cardamom and Rum. A solid enough slice of layered cake. Though for me the banana ice cream was too strongly flavored. The accompanying variety of crumbles and powders on the plate were delightful.

gramercy tavern cookie plate

Gramercy Tavern Cookie Plate. Good spread of cookies. A couple of them were awesome.

gramercy tavern petit fours

Petit Fours. Fennel macaron. Caramel chocolate. Nougat. A delectable few bites to round out a superb birthday lunch.

Some wines we had:

gramercy tavern champagnegramercy tavern barologramercy tavern tokaji

Date of visit:  February 20, 2014

Gramercy Tavern. 42 East 20th Street. NYC  212.477.0777  www.gramercytavern.com


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

This Guy on Twitter

Rainy day @shakeshack with my man @ronnyemborg