Gabriel Kreuther: 6 Course Carte Blanche (NYC)

Gabriel Kreuther currently has 1 Michelin Star as of 2018. It is located in the Grace building, right across from (my favorite) Bryant Park. The restaurant serves classic French, specifically, Alsatian cuisine.  I took my parents here to celebrate Mother’s Day and we each had the six course carte blanche, wine pairing for myself since my parents didn’t drink.

Gabriel Kreuther

Savory Scallion Kougelhopf 
chive fromage blanc
Of all the breads that were offered that night, this was my favorite. I also enjoyed how light and tart the fromage blanc was.

Gabriel Kreuther

Tarte flambée is an Alsatian dish, composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly, topped with onions and some form of lardon – reminds me of pizza but more delicate and light. I’ve only had it once at La Tarte Flambée in NYC.

Gabriel Kreuther

Earth & Air 
beet bon bon, horseradish
yuzu-lychee cloud, rosewater glass
I loved air. These were little bites that just melted in your mouth. Of course, I’m a sucker for yuzu.

Gabriel Kreuther

Fire & Ice Pate de fruit
cucumber, gin, mint
mezcal margarita, kumquat, chili
Ice was refreshing while fire had a kick to it. Kind of like a refined jello shot.

Gabriel Kreuther

Foie Gras Terrine & Pistachio Praline
medjool date jam, strega, fennel pollen waffle
This was a pleasant surprise since I didn’t think that foie gras should be mixed with anything, but the praline added a nice crunch to it. I still prefer whole foie gras though, like a barbarian.

Gabriel Kreuther

Langoustine Tartare
flying fish roe, salty fingers, cauliflower-macadamia puree
Cracking through the creme brulee-like top, you reach the scrumptious langoustine inside. This was one of my top dishes that night.

Gabriel Kreuther

Green-Walk Hatchery Trout 
scallion crema, rye cracker, champagne sauce 

Gabriel Kreuther

Castle Valley Mill’s Polenta 
poached farm egg, parma prosciutto, green tomato

Gabriel Kreuther

Rosemary Buckwheat Rolls
whipped lardo, chili, garlic
There was ample bread to go around all night.

Gabriel Kreuther

Black Angus Beef Tenderloin
green asparagus, roquefort, leek vinaigrette 

Gabriel Kreuther

Cucumber & Citrus 
cucumber granita, lemon cream, crystalized mint
This was a refreshing prelude to dessert.

Gabriel Kreuther

Decadent – Chocolate Caramel
mixed media crumble, chocolate mousse, caramel ice cream
So decadent I couldn’t finish it!

Gabriel Kreuther

Chocolates, petit fours 
Sugar overload. I had heard about Gabriel Kreuther’s famous chocolates and these did not disappoint. Loved the setting.

I also had the wine pairing but the menu they sent me had some errors on it – amateur mistake on my part for not jotting down the wine names as they were presented. I had assumed they would print me the correct menu. Oh well.

Gabriel Kreuther 
41 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036
Reservations available via OpenTable

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Bacon Omakase at Belly

Belly

I was very fortunate to have been invited to this private supper club at Belly and briefly met Chef Johnny Wooh. His staff was warm and welcoming, and there was just enough bacon. (Just kidding, there can never be enough)

Belly

We started off with toast with kimchi butter, which was already amazing.

Belly

BACON SUSHI – in my opinion, the best dish.

Belly

Rib & pork bellyyyyyyyy

Belly

Bacon taco. Yes, you can fold it in half.

Belly

Spicy stuffed pepper (sausage inside) – bringing the heat!

Belly

Of course you musta have-a pasta.

Belly

They even make vegetables tasty.

Belly

Donuts with (HOLY) SMOKY CREAM mm mmmmm.

BELLY OMAKASE

355 WEST 14TH STREET
(BTW 8-9 AVE)
NEW YORK, NY 10014

Reservation is required (Omakase dinner is available exclusively for 12 guests per day every Friday and Saturday)

Tanoshi (NYC)

Tanoshi offers one of the most affordable omakases in NYC, and it’s quite easy to make reservations online. I also love that it’s BYOB. For $99, you get 10 courses of amazing fresh fish, and you can add more if you want from their menu on the wall (which changes according to what’s in season).

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Cherry trout

Tanoshi

Amberjack with cherry blossom leaf

Tanoshi

Sardine

Tanoshi

Botan with uni (one of my faves)

Tanoshi

Blue fin toro

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

XXX (FAVE)

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Miso soup

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Additional courses that we ordered a-la-carte.

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Salmon belly

Tanoshi

I had to get more of this!

Tanoshi

Yellowtail belly.

Tanoshi

Nakaochi

Tanoshi

Sea eel

Tanoshi

Crab brain

Tanoshi

 

Tanoshi
1372 York Ave
New York, NY 10021
b/t 73rd St & 74th St 
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tanoshi-sushi-sake-bar-new-york

Eleven Madison Park’s 11 course menu (2017)

It’s been one year since I last updated this blog. I guess I’ll get back to it and start off with food. Last year, Eleven Madison Park offered an 11-course retrospective tasting menu featuring signature dishes from the years it’s been opened, for a limited time only. Named “The World’s Best Restaurant” of 2017, I booked a table right away, since I had never been there. Pro tip: ask for a tour of the kitchen. They brought us to the back after the meal was over and mixed us dessert cocktails! That was probably the highlight of the entire meal for me.

Eleven Madison Park

Gougère with grated gruyere (2006)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Sea Urchin – cappuccino with peekytoe crab and cauliflower (2006)

Eleven Madison Park

Little neck clam – clambake with velouté and parker house rolls (2011)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Prawn roulade with avocado and yogurt (2007)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Foie gras torchon with maple syrup and pain d’epice (2004)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Carrot tartare with rye toast and condiments (2012)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

You have to put in a little work here, mixing according to your liking.

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Turbot poached zucchini and squash blossom (2007)

Eleven Madison Park

Winter in Provence – black truffle, celery root, potato and chèvre frais (2009)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Suckling pig confit with rhubarb, leeks and cipollini onion (2010)

Eleven Madison Park

Milk and honey with dehydrated milk foam and bee pollen (2010)

Eleven Madison Park

Chocolate palette with peanut butter and popcorn ice cream (2008)

Eleven Madison Park

More desserts.

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Complimentary apple brandy at the end.

Eleven Madison Park

Goodie bag with the menu and granola.

Eleven Madison Park

Sushi on Jones (NYC)

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Sushi on Jones 
Bowery Market
348 Bowery
New York, NY 10012

The timer starts. It counts down from 30 minutes. You have 12 courses of sushi presented to you individually and beautifully seasoned. Plus a hand roll for $12 extra. The omakase is only $50, quite a steal in New York City. Oh, and it’s outdoor seating only — 4 seats, for which you have to make reservations for (via text (917) 270-1815). Late for 2 minutes and you don’t get to eat.

We made sure we would be early — in fact, we were in the area an hour before. A few blocks away is Coffee Project, where the deconstructed latte lives.

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But I digress.

Back to the Bowery Market.

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This outdoor foodie paradise has quite a variety of eateries — tacos?

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The Butcher’s Daughter.

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Still waiting…

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There it is. The 4 coveted seats.

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Tea is $2.50 extra. And it’s Yogi tea. Felt a little jipped. No real matcha? Boo. But that’s not what we’re here for. Ready?

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One of the creamiest uni I’ve ever had.

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What you come here for. Uni on wagyu action.

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After the last course, the chef asked if we wanted anything else. We asked for the uni wagyu hand roll, of course!

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At the end of the meal, I wasn’t quite full yet, but the quality is definitely top notch. After the extra hand roll, tax and tips, it came out to be about $84 per person. Try it and let me know what you think.

7/24/15 NYC Restaurant Week: Riverpark

A year ago, I stepped into Riverpark during NYC Restaurant Week (Yelp review here) and fell in love immediately. I knew I had to come back again. Its RW menu is only available for weekday lunch.

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Last year, I opted for outdoor terrace seating which had a spectacular vibe: overlooking the East River with a slight breeze. This time, since I was dining with my father, we chose to stay indoors and luckily got a window seat. I’ve had nothing but great service both times.

The Restaurant Week lunch menu includes 3 courses for $25.

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Manhattan clam chowder.

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Cow’s Milk Burratini || Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Peaches, Basil, Breadcrumbs — I must say, this was the highlight of my meal; it was super fresh and it was the best cheese I’ve ever had. Loved the herbs and peaches. The breadcrumbs added a nice crunch to the soft cheese.

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Prawns A La Plancha ($5 SUPPLEMENT) || Grilled Corn, Shisito Peppers, Cotija, Lime-Pickled Onions, Delfino Cilantro

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Hanger Steak & Bone Marrow ($10 SUPPLEMENT) || Balsamic Onions, Charred Tomatoes, Broccolini, Fingerling Potatoes

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I love everything about this restaurant. Simple and modern decor, friendly service, farm to table meals.

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Ice Cream || Sweet Corn & Mint Chocolate Chip — LOVED these flavors and the real mint! Nothing artificial about them.

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“Cereal & Milk” ($5 SUPPLEMENT) || Chocolate Ganache Cake, Caramelized Rice Puffs, Vanilla Malt — the cake was a little too sweet for my taste, but nevertheless an overall great dessert.

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Riverpark still remains one of my favorite restaurants because of their fresh ingredients, amazing atmosphere and ever-changing creative menus.

Riverpark
450 E 29th St. New York, NY 10016
212-729-9790
info@riverparknyc.com

A Taste of France in Brooklyn: Honeybee Pâtisserie

About 2 weeks ago, I stumbled upon this article about a new Parisian bakery in Bensonhurst. It was quite an inspiring story and piqued my interest. The owner, Anna Ng, is only 29 years old — she quit her boring job, flew to France to study the culinary arts, became a chef and opened up her own pastry shop. How awesome is that? (Read her blog here)

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It’s quality over quantity, so you won’t find any imperfection in the beautiful display case of intricately designed desserts. I loved everything I had. All the desserts have different layers of ingredients, different textures that all come together.

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1) Passion: caramélia milk chocolate mousse, genoise sponge cubes, passion fruit mango gelée, dulcey almond croustillant, mango sauce ($5.49) – The presentation was playful and it was so refreshing.

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2) Banana chocolate crunch: chocolate syrup soaked chocolate biscuit, chocolate almond feuilletine, banana mousse, chocolate mousse ($5.49) – loved the crunch and the combination of banana and chocolate – perfection.

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3) Matcha mint chocolate cream macaron ($2.50) — WOW! Loved this. It’s definitely on par with the big name macaron places in the city, and I even dare say it was better than any I’ve had in NYC. I love the matcha and mint flavors!

I also had their drip coffee, which was on point.

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I love the decor — the white exposed brick walls, the cupcake holders on one side of the wall, the communal bench, music playing in the background, and great lighting. I would love to sit here all day.

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Yes, they take credit cards.

Honeybee Pâtisserie
6514 Bay Pkwy
Bensonhurst, NY 11204
(b/t 7th St & 66th St)

5/20/15 Saikai (West Village, NY)

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Saikai Dining Bar, a self-proclaimed modern day izakaya. I just came here for the uni.

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Uni Toast. Similar to what I’ve had at Salt & Fat (Astoria, NY).

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Truffle Chawanmushi – egg custard with uni, ikura, kani and truffle sauce. You can really taste the truffle in this.

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Our waiter’s favorite — miso black cod. I loved it but my dining companion thought it was just okay.

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Smoked duck breast with foie gras. I loved lifting the glass off to reveal the smoky aroma.

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You are to combine the 3 together. The foie gras was not too overwhelming.

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Uni pasta. I liked the chewy texture of the Inaniwa udon. However, I still like Basta Pasta’s version better.

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The best part of the meal was dessert. I enjoyed both tremendously. Ginger creme brulee and ume shiso ice cream. Ume shiso?! I couldn’t imagine it, so I had to have it.

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It was quite interesting… and I still can’t figure out if I loved it or not. I think I did.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal and appreciate the modern twist. But many of the dishes have already been done (i.e. Salt & Fat, Basta Pasta, Dieci, etc) and I feel like I’m still waiting for something truly creative and tasty. I definitely see their potential to grow.

Easy to make reservations via Opentable.

Saikai 
24 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011
(646) 838–5599

5/19/15 Afternoon Tea at Bergdorf Goodman

My friends and I have a long list of Afternoon Tea places to visit. BG Restaurant came up as one of the top in NYC in many articles we found. A couple of favorites of ours include Alice’s Tea Cup (I, II & III) and Bosie Tea Parlor.

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Afternoon Tea: 3-5PM everyday, reservations recommended. $42 per person.

Located on the 7th Floor of Bergdorf Goodman, you can take the elevator up (make sure you go into the right building!). It’s a little pricey as expected, but you’re really going there for the view of Central Park. My friends and I requested to be moved to a window seat and were ecstatic when they obliged. But we did find the view to be underwhelming — perhaps it would be better in the fall with beautiful foliage.

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I enjoyed their tea sandwiches with a variety of flavors: cucumber, salmon, prosciutto, chicken salad, tuna salad…

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Their macarons tasted exactly like Trader Joe’s, which was slightly disappointing. I mean, I love TJ’s but why come here when I can buy a box myself to eat at home? Go to Bosie for the Darjeeling macarons!

As for the scones… Alice and Bosie still win.

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Although BG did not make it to my list of top afternoon tea places, it was still a cute place to bring your girlfriends. I liked all our teas. I shall return for lunch another day in the fall for better views!

BG Restaurant 
754 5th Ave
b/t 57th St & West 58th St 
7th Floor

Nakazawa Dreams of Sushi (NYC)

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Located in the West Village of New York City, notorious for the online reservations that are next to impossible to obtain, Sushi Nakazawa has been on my radar since the well-known documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

To get a reservation, you must plan a month and a day in advance. Literally. You better be on your computer at 11:55PM the night before you make the reservation for 30 days later. They take reservations for the bar on OpenTable.

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There are only 10 seats at the bar, which is really where you want to be if you want to be served by Chef Nakazawa. $150 for 20 courses. Sake pairing optional — my dining companion chose the $40 sake pairing.

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Scallop

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There he is. Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, operating with precision and passion at the same time.

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Cuttlefish / shiso leaf
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Golden Eye Snapper 
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Fluke / Yuzu

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Mackerel three way
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Mackerel three way / Spanish / Horse / Saba

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Chef Nakazawa is playful, friendly and down-to-earth. He’ll try to accommodate all his guests and make them laugh. I truly enjoyed his presence.

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Sayonara Prawn / White Sturgeon Caviar

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Dungeness Crab

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With only a finger towel (for eating with your hands) and a bowl of ginger, your sushi is placed on this black slab. Simplistic. The focus is on the sushi.

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Yellowtail / Aged 7 days
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Bonito
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Bluefin Tuna Trio 

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Chef Nakazawa prepares the uni.

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Maine Uni
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Ikura

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After the hand roll, we had an option to get another serving of any course we had. We chose the scallop and uni. Keep in mind this costs extra.

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Freshly grated wasabi.

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Unagi / Tamago

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We finished off the meal with green tea and lychee sorbet.

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It was a great experience that spanned about 2+ hours. There were so many highlights throughout the meal and each course was exquisite. Although I am not a food connoisseur of any kind, I would say that was one of the best meals of my life. Note: There is only one bathroom.

Sushi Nakazawa
23 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-2212