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Hotel Griffou


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Unfortunately I'm stuck in corporate training and thus typing on my phone, but I wanted to thank Dave for cooking an amazing dinner for the 11 of us celebrating a 37th bday of a close friend. I was especially blown away be the lamb neck. Every carrot was cut in a perfect tournade and the delicious foam made for a complementary vinaigrette. I was also blown away by a mussels and lamb dish. I'll try to write more from a computer later, but suffice to say it was a great evening.

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I have a little time before I have to head to Brooklyn for the second night in a row of British Seapower, and I need to crow about the absolutely perfect pre-concert supper I had at Hotel Griffou earlier. They have Maine belons, and they are fantastic. Shockingly briny with a tannic edge, big flat beauties shimmer in their saline liquor. I was given lemon and mignonette (good, I dipped a fork in to taste) but these bold,brassy oysters need no accompaniment to shine. The champagne they are pouring by the glass (my second glass was comped), Alfred Gratien n.v., which is creamy and slightly floral, is a gentle foil to the intense flavor of the Belons. $4 each and more than worth it when other establishments charge close to that for perfectly good but in no way earth-shaking Beausoleils and kumamotos.

 

Asparagus veloute is just lovely. You are brought a soup plate centered with an ivory-colored garlic flan scattered with minced chives. Small coral crescents of crawfish and tender miniature asparagus tips are scattered about and tangled here and there with bits of herbs. The server pours from a tall silver pot a silky, jade-colored cream that submerges the fish and vegetable bits and contrasts the creamy white of the flan against its deep greenness. It tastes of pure asparagus with a buttery edge, backed by a whisper of herbs and of delicate shellfish. The flan is feather light. The texture of the veloute is impossibly velvety yet also light. A spoonful evokes thoughts of sunny meadows. Spring in a bowl.

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Asparagus veloute is just lovely.

You are brought

a soup plate

centered with an ivory-colored garlic flan

scattered with minced chives.

 

Small coral crescents of crawfish

and tender miniature asparagus tips

are scattered about and

tangled here and there with bits of herbs.

The server

pours from a tall silver pot

a silky, jade-colored cream

that submerges the fish and vegetable bits

and contrasts the creamy white of the flan

against its deep greenness.

It tastes of pure asparagus with a buttery edge,

backed by a whisper of herbs

and of delicate shellfish.

The flan is feather light. The texture

of the veloute is impossibly velvety

yet also light.

A spoonful evokes thoughts of sunny meadows.

Spring in a bowl.

 

A poem.

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Share on other sites

 

Asparagus veloute is just lovely.

You are brought

a soup plate

centered with an ivory-colored garlic flan

scattered with minced chives.

 

Small coral crescents of crawfish

and tender miniature asparagus tips

are scattered about and

tangled here and there with bits of herbs.

The server

pours from a tall silver pot

a silky, jade-colored cream

that submerges the fish and vegetable bits

and contrasts the creamy white of the flan

against its deep greenness.

It tastes of pure asparagus with a buttery edge,

backed by a whisper of herbs

and of delicate shellfish.

The flan is feather light. The texture

of the veloute is impossibly velvety

yet also light.

A spoonful evokes thoughts of sunny meadows.

Spring in a bowl.

 

A poem.

Thank you.

 

Inspired in part by two glasses of bubbly. :blush:

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If I came to HG with my wife on Friday around 7:30 or 8:00 would the place be pretty chill or would we be surrounded by d'bags? And will those oysters still be around?

 

The great thing about the setting is that it necessarily silos the d'bags. Even if you are surrounded, they can't be nearly as annoying when there are only a few. To be honest, I really haven't had to deal with much of that away from the bar and even the bar wasn't bad. The dining crew seems mostly like nice neighborhood people.

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So it's interesting, given what I think is Hotel Griffou's greatest strength (more on that later), that the very best thing now available there requires no real cooking.

 

I refer, of course, to the Belon oysters. We don't get to eat them too frequently around here. They give you everything you like about oysters, times ten. What grip; what briney flavor. Daisy is right that Griffou's champagne-by-the-glass is a wonderful accompaniment.

 

I'm sorry I only had six.

 

It was emblematic to watch the barmaid convince the group sitting next to me that you don't serve Belons in oyster shooters.

 

My plan was to just have some oysters and go home, but as Liebling would have predicted, my half-dozen oysters only made me hungrier. I decided to follow them with my inevitable encounter with the Seared Foie Gras/Biscuits & Gravy appetizer. My first thought was that the gravy wasn't assertive enough. This was wrong. It would have fucked up the wonderful foie to have too flavorful a gravy with it; as it was, it was just right. But this wasn't ordinary seared foie, was it? Something was done to it, I don't know what, to make the texture less greasy -- to make it less unctuous, to unleash the usual cliche -- and to crisp the outside. Maybe Chef Santos will give us a hint.

 

And that's what the big strength of Hotel Griffou is. The care and attention to detail in the cooking. Some dishes are tastier than others. Some are more interesting than others. Some are better conceived than others. But there isn't a one whose technical execution doesn't surpass anything you could reasonably expect at a restaurant of this kind. Where the attention to detail -- every detail, even the tangential ones -- doesn't just leap out at you from the plate. It's lovely food, and much of it is inspired as well.

 

I try to think of what I'd say about Hotel Griffou if I didn't know and like the chef so much. And all I can think of is, I'm really impressed.

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Thanks so much for the compliments man. You know everyone here works really hard doing the best they can. Im actually shocked that we do what we do so well given the hands we have. I can only be thankful to the great group ive put together here. If it wasnt for them we wouldnt be where we are. I do miss the ultra fine dining scene and the over attention to detail but for now this suits me well i think.

 

I know ive said it a million times at this point but this job really wouldnt be rewarding without people like you guys who show the support the way you do. Thank you all and we will keep doing what we do on our end and trying to make everything better.

 

As far as the foie is concerned. Its just good foie treated properly, with love and respect as all ingredients should be. :)

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