Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gramecy Tavern @ New York

Background - Before Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern was run by chef Tom Colicchio (one of Top Chef judge). Initially, many food critics were skeptical about the new chef ability to fill the big shoes, but chef Anthony was more than up for the job, his culinary skills and understanding of seasonal & local ingredients have set him on par, if not beyond chef Colicchio.

Surroundings - The Pottery Barn style decor coupled with some bright flower arrangements and paintings set a welcoming note to all the customers at Gramecy Tavern. The restaurant offers diners both casual and elegant dining rooms.

The Chilled Zucchini Soup will pique you appetite for some Fried Oysters and fortify your palate before digging into the main event
The Sea Scallops was a success with Champagne Grapes, Basil and Lemon Oil, hinging on the natural sea flavor of the Scallops

Veal Loin & Deckle served with Heirloom Beans and Shiitake Mushrooms are worth selfish hogging!!!!
The Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding mingles perfectly with the Cacao Nib Ice Cream, leading to a luxurious texture

A Chocolate Macaroon has all the cult appeal, but serious chef like Nancy Olson knows that for filling, nothing beats a fat slab of Peanut Butter Semifreddo! This is the Best macaroon everrrr~

Overall - This is probably the best restaurant I have tasted so far during my stay in New York. The food here are straightforward, using only the freshest ingredients. Both Danny Meyer and Michael Anthony have certainly make their mark in the culinary world.


Gramercy Tavern on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Katz Delicatessen @ East Village, New York

When Sally had an orgasm at the Katz’s Delicatessen, every guest wanted what Sally was having. I too ordered a pastrami sandwich hoping to get lucky. =)

Surroundings - The endless food counter together with the rustic wooden tables and chairs, remind me of my old dormitory canteen. What differs Katz's from my old canteen is the walls of fame which consists of Katz’s famous customers. As you enter the deli, you will received a little blue ticket, this blue ticket will record what you ordered and it will be handed over to the cashier for payment upon exit. If you lose the blue ticket, be ready to pay a fine of $50.

Menu - The menu consists of the usual breakfast set (i.e. eggs, pancakes, sausages and bagels) and a wide variety of sandwiches. Ordered the iconic Pastrami on Rye (RM15.75) and you will not be disappointed.

Unlike most pastrami sandwiches, Katz's pastrami is tender and unreal delicious. This popular meat is made from beef, which is brined, party dried , seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed before being served. In New York, pastrami is typically sliced and served on rye bread, while in Los Angeles, it is served in French Roll.

Verdict: Totally Smitten

Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Per Se @ Columbus Circle, New York

When you acknowledge as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection become clear; to make people happy. That’s what cooking is all about. ~ Thomas Keller
Background - Per Se opens its door in 16 Feb 2004 and it has since become one of New York most reputable and sought after restaurant, with a 3 Michelin Star rating. One will not miss to mentioned its sister restaurant - The French Laundry, in Yountville, California, which I'm looking forward to try this Dec.

Surroundings - The restaurant setting was very formal with plush upholstery, fire place and wine cellar around the waiting area. Jackets are required for both lunch and dinner. What caught my eyes were the enormous picture windows, showcasing the impressive view of Central Park and Columbus Circle. The view is picture perfect, if you are lucky, you might catch Donald Trump stepping out from the Trump Tower.
Menu - Per Se only offers a 9 course Chef’s tasting menu and a vegetable tasting menu that changes everyday, costing US$ 275 (service included) per person and a 5 course menu during lunch for US$ 175 (service included) per pax. There are no a la carte menu, so be prepared to savor all the Chef selections.

Its such a beautiful day in New York

Thomas Keller signature dish - Amuse Bouche
Tiny sesame cone filled with creme fraiche and topped with salmon tartare
Chilled Summer Melon Soup - The soup was flavorful and silky. The combination of olives oil gives a very beautiful finishing.

Herb Roasted Four Story Hill Farm’s Poussin
Black Mission Figs, Fennel Bulb Batons and Celery Branch Salad with Aged Balsamic Vinegar.

Potato Crusted Florida Frog’s Leg

Cauliflower Florettes, Parsley Shoots and Garlic “Royale”

Portuguese Cuttlefish “Poêlé”
Aji Dulce Peppers, Caramelized Globe Artichokes and Garden Mint with Rouille

The Creamy Herb Roasted Four Story Hill Farm’s Poussin
Black Mission Figs, Fennel Bulb Batons and Celery Branch Salad with Aged Balsamic Vinegar.

M & M’s
Pretzel Chips, Candied Peanuts and Madagascar Vanilla Mousse with Mast Brothers’ Chocolate Ice Cream

The meal ended with an assortments of mignardises, truffles, macaroons and cookies packed to-go.
I do agree with some reviews that the food here is less exciting for the price you pay for. But I must say every dish is delicious with each ingredients harmonizing flawless when being served. Saucing and seasoning is light, therefore the main ingredients of the dish is usually not hidden or ovwerwhelmed.The presentation was simple and elegant and the wait staffs were hyper attentive and down to earth. When I asked for some sea salt, they brought me two different types to suit my taste buds. If you feel like splurging (or even better, someone else is paying for it) and ready to spend at least 2 to 3 hours for lunch, Per Se is worth every penny. Please keep in mind that, there are only 16 tables available in the main dining room, booking 1- 2 month ahead is advisable.

Verdict : Totally Smitten

Per Se on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jean Georges @ New York

How can you say no to a 3 Michelin stars restaurant that charges US$29 for a two course pre fix menu and US$8 for desserts? You can’t.

Background - Jean Georges is one of the four restaurant in New York that has a 3 michelin star rating. Even though Chef Jean Georges was born in Alsace, French, he spent most of his professional career in Asia, hence creating an artful and often whimsical French - Asian fusion cuisine.

Surroundings - The lunch atmosphere was less formal compared to Per Se, it was lively with diners chit-chatting and waiters trooping silently to and fro. Needless to say, the service was impeccable, the waiters were acute and the dishes were served and taken away coherently. Even though the dining room wasn’t exactly spacious, the high ceilings and huge windows panels gave a warm and intimate feeling.

The Cibatta Bread texture was perfect - hard on the outside and soft inside.

Amuse Bouch
Sea Trout Sashimi Draped in Trout Eggs, Lemon, Dill and Horseradish. I'm totally in love with the presentation of this dish. The trout sashimi was fresh but the horseradish overpowered the dish. What a pity.
Tomato salad garnish with some diced yellow bell pepper, cucumber and olives.
This gotta be the Best Dish! Foie Gras Brulee, Rhubard Huice, Pineapple Raisins and Sichuan Peppercorn! The ingredients and technique used in this dish is impeccable. Kudos~
Beautifully Roasted Halibut coupled with aromatic Spice Broth and Spring Vegetables.
Skate with Chateau Chalon Sauce - Simple yet Delicioussss
Macarons Baby!

Sweet treats~~~~
Chocolate Theme - Jean Georges Chocolate Cake topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with caramelized Honey Ganache, Amaranth Seeds and Hibiscus Steusel!

Rhubard Theme - Warm Honey Rhubard Tart served together with Crystallized Rose Petals, Strawberry Rhubard Soup, Mango, Passion Fruit and Yuzu.


Jean-Georges on Urbanspoon

Egg @ Brooklyn, New York

As soon as we sat down, people started arriving and the next thing you know, there was a queue going outside the shop at 930am. Despite the pleasant environment and 4 stars rating from Yelp, most of the dishes we ordered did not work that well with our Asian palate. The biscuits & gravy, chorizo and sausages were over seasoned and too salty. The only thing that I really enjoyed was the yummy doughnuts coated with sugar.

Chorizo & Eggs

Home-made chorizo with egg, salsa verde, pickled jalapenos and toast

Biscuits & Gravy

Homemade buttermilk biscuits in sawmill gravy with pan seared mushroom

Egg Rothko

Easy cooked egg in a slice of Amy’s brioche and topped with Grafton chedder. Served with broiled tomatoes and ham

Grafton Cheddar Omelet with broiled tomatoes + Homemade pork sausage

3 eggs omelet served with broiled tomatoes and hash brown

Sugar coated mini doughnuts


Egg on Urbanspoon