I've been a couple of times before and although perfectly ok I found it pretty ho hum; neither as exciting as a top tier restaurant (the Danny Meyer effect) nor as satisfying as a decent bistro. But a new Chef, Daniel Humm, formerly of somewhere on the left coast and admired by one of our dining companions, seemed like a good reason to go.
Three spring and one aquatic tasting menus.
Lots of amuse. A sea urchin soup which was much better than anything that includes the overrated sea urchin normally is. A tasty little something with flying fish roe. A gelatinous scallop thing. A creamy foie gras brulee. Gougeres (can't go wrong). Goat cheese with crispy bits. Oysters on leek/potato puree. All very fine.
But then, the horror. A beet salad. Very pretty. A vertical arrangement of around 10 5x1cm cylinders of different colored beets. But no amount of visual artistry could disguise the fact that they were beets. A fennel and orange salad that preceded the aquatic menu was a lot nicer.
Loup de Mer Tartare with Meyer Lemon Oil and Osetra Caviar Good but a bit boring.
Maine Diver Scallops Saffron Consommé with Green Apples and Ginger Nice scallops, clean tasting presentation. Good.
Nova Scotia Lobster Butter Poached with chantenay carrots, orage and Gewurtztrminer Perfectly cooked lobster. Soft and sweet. Lovely subtle Gewurtz sauce. Redundant carrots.
Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart, Warm Chiboust and Lemon-Basil Sorbet Fine.
"Elevages Périgord" Foie Gras Terrine with Rhubarb, Golden Raisins and Noble Sour Vinegar Nice creamy foie layered with chopped rhubarb and topped with rhubarb jelly. I am not a fan of rhubarb but this was good. Naturally accompanied by predictably vile brioche. A nice salad of asparagus dressed, I assume, with the vinegar. Noble enough and sour.
Scottish Langoustine Butter Poached with Carrot-Orange Nage Very good Dublin bay prawns but the nage was a bit overpowering.
Jamison Farm Lamb Herb Roasted with Tomato Confit and Nicoise Olives A chop, a couple of pieces of stew and a confit of belly. The lamb could have been lambier but still very acceptable.
Composition of Desserts "Araguani" Chocolate Mille-Feuille and Orange-Jasmine Crepe Napoleon Most hated this. I thought it fine enough.
One service glitch: one diner, expressly averse to shellfish was nonetheless served scallops.
With three bottles of wine between four, $155 a head inclusive.
Go before Meyer sucks the life out of the new chef.
They were in New York for many years but that changed recently. Are they really environmentally unsound (I will feel guilty)? I had assumed it was more a question of whether the drains could handle the additional waste.
yes, the cost of processing solid waste at a wastewater treatment plant is something like 10x more than landfilling it. those sludge digesters are expensive to run, and it's expensive getting rid of solid waste from a wastewater treatment plant. also, my friend had to pay a plumber $500 on a sunday after his wife put matzoh down the disposal, the plumber said they always have a post-passover rush.
(smug civil engineer bastard)
Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
I find it curious what it will and will not digest: coffee filters, yes; chicken skin, no.