Posted by: mikeydude | December 22, 2009

The Modern New York City Restaurant Review (7/10)

Touches of brilliance in modern New York City

First night in New York City. Eating at equivalent of 04:00 UK time and previously just finished night shift so fairly tired to judge this. Nevertheless had a great romantic meal with my wife.

A very unassuming exterior leads to a flashy chic interior which gave way to a fantastic place either to hang out at the bar or eat at this established fine dining restaurant.

Waiting staff were polite and knowledged about their dishes. Seems that the chef at this establishment has recently won the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in NYC and specialises in modern cooking with a keen reflection of the chef’s Alsatian roots. His specialties included various sausage dishes and flambees which we were recommended in trying. I loved the tapas style menu where you can pick and choose various small dishes to truly savour the variety and skills of the chef. Unfortunately we weren’t that hungry but were still able to a few of his masterpieces. Here’s my views.

The bread was quick to arrive and consisted of 3 different types including brown and crusty rolls. Not baked on site but purchased from a reputable breadmaker in New York. Not warmed but still tasted fresh and soft. My picture was rather blurred so not published.

Alsatian Flambee

I was told this was the most popular dish, and it was quickly apparent as to why that was. It looks a bit like a pizza, but is so much lighter with its delicious crispy crust base. The cheese and bacon were of very high quality and combined to form an exquisite simple dish. Nevertheless at the end of the day I could not help but compare it to a poshed up Quiche Lorraine.

Steak Tartare with quail egg

I had never tasted steak tartare before and so decided to try it that night. This was topped with a quail egg which added some extra depth to the meatiness and also served with toasted bread. The beef was fresh and well seasoned with pepper. The egg yolk also went well with the meat and bread. However it didn’t send any sparks flying…

Slow Poached Farm Egg “In a Jar” with Maine lobster, salsify and sea urchin froth

What a curious little pot! Don’t let the unassuming appearance fool you. This dish was easily the best of the night and absolutely delicious. The egg was wonderfully smooth almost to the degree of custard and that wonderful fragrant lobster foam created a waterfall of seafood flavour as you gently savor and eventually swallow each mouthful. I think I could have had another one of these as it wasn’t really “eggy” which can sometimes make one nauseous. 🙂

Pan Roasted Veal Sweetbreads with caramelized turnips, pain d’épice and maple jus

Very generous portion of sweetbreads here which were tender and perfectly cooked. Of special mention is the maple jus that gave the dish a sweetness that combined excellently with the sweetbread.

Total cost $88 excluding service. The problem with dining at accomplished fine-dining restaurants is the expectation of a wow factor (and quite rightly so for the prices they charge!). There’s some very high quality cooking here, particularly the main courses after some ok starters. Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Alsatian style cooking, but this chef is obviously pulling off some fine dishes. Would definitely consider returning one day.


9 West 53rd Street
New York
NY 10019-5401
United States

Tel: (212) 333-1220

Bar Room Hours:
Monday – Thursday 11:30 am – 10:30 pm
Friday and Saturday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 11:30 am – 9:30 pm

Dining Room Hours:
Monday – Friday 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Monday – Thursday 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Friday – Saturday 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Closed Sunday


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