We went on Friday and were very happy we did. His spacious (per Manhattan standards) ground floor apt (with garden entrance!) is a comfortable and warm space for 10 to share a communal table. Dave had a team of 3 or 4(?) assisting in front and back. Service was excellent. Coats taken, wine chilled, seamless plate distribution/bussing, settings/silver replaced every course, watering, wine pouring, all very smooth.
As for the food each dish was thoughtfully composed and so very well executed. Not one I wouldn’t happily eat again and several I’m still thinking about. I took a few bad pics with a point and shoot you can match to the nice ones above:
Coriander cured branzino, pickled banana puree, piri piri oil – nice cure making for rich and silky texture combined with the scallion, oil and banana it was great. Nice opener
Sweet potato and duck tongue salad, arugula, roasted sweet potato vinaigrette – offsetting textures and flavors, fantastic. The tongues were delicious dissolving immediately on consumption. Made me excited for what was to come.
Seared scallops, fennel puree, port and rioja poached figs - pretty dish, perfectly treated scallops, worked nicely with the figs and puree. Maybe a bit sweet for some but I liked it just the way it was.
Portuguese pot pie - cod stew with a smoked paprika cream and puff pastry – just like it sounds, hearty stew of flecked cod, potatoes, carrots and cream. It was amazing. The smoke and heartiness took me to the little fishing village Dave’s grandma grew up in where she learned it from her grandma and prepared every Sunday. (Of course I have no idea where she’s from or if she even eats fish)
Morcilla stuffed tripe, piquillo pepper puree, roasted almonds – this was the most daring dish and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The morcilla with the tripe the sauce and almonds were carnival of textures that came together surprisingly well.
Roasted pheasant, house made pheasant sausage, spatzle, celery root broth – Delicate, delicious, best dish of the night. The squab was the best I’ve ever had (not that I’ve had so much of it) but it was insanely tender. (sous vide first with a quick lay in the pan? hmmm) The gaminess of the sausage with the buttery spatzle and celery broth was out of control good. Put this on any upscale menu and it will hold it’s own.
"pumpkin pie" Pumpkin puree, yogurt gelato, pumpkin seed and pretzel crumble – not too sweet, the yogurt tasted very homemade in the best possible way and combined with the puree and pretzel perfectly. A very nice way to finish.
I think if Dave were to open a catering biz and/or continue events like this he’d quickly develop a following and be very successful. I wish him the best of luck and hope to eat his food again.