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

Barcelona: Disfrutar – Best Meal Ever? (Feb 2017)

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Making a reservation at Disfrutar (in English meaning “Enjoy”) was super easy — I used their website to book in advance. They hold one Michelin star right now, but I believe they deserve more. It was reminiscent of Alinea in Chicago, where I first experienced the world of molecular gastronomy. When we arrived at the restaurant, I instantly felt the warmth from our host, who received us and gave us a quick tour that eventually led to our table. Every single person who served us was welcoming and explained everything clearly.

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You can choose between the Classic Menu or the Festival Menu, and both featured an option for 20 or 25 courses. I went with the “Classic” since it was my first time there and I wanted to experience it as a newbie. Of course, I had to get the wine pairing with my meal.

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Frozen cocktail with passionfruit, rum & coffee

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Lychee and roses with gin

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The beet that comes out of the land

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Salted candy walnuts with mango, tonka beans and whisky

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“Multipescadito frito” with fresh trout roe

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These were NOT olives! They were made of hard chocolate shells filled with soft chocolate inside. SO surprisingly tasty. One of my favorites and it looks so simple! Together with the olive oil and bread, they worked quite beautifully. Amazing.

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Mille-feuille of Idiazabal

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Crispy egg yolk with mushrooms gelatine

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Perfectly crispy on the outside, runny egg yolk on the inside

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Mushroom “dumplings”

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Ceviche decontruction

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This was my favorite wine of the meal, tastes like… mushrooms?!

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Macaroni carbonara

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Liquid salad, anyone?

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Langoustine “al ajillo”

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Red mullet with pork belly and eggplant gnocchi

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Moroccan style pigeon

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Dessert #1: mango sorbet sandwich

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Dessert #2: Cheesecake cornet

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Dessert #3: Chocolate peppers, oil and salt – another mind game, these were not peppers at all!

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Favorite dessert of the meal: Cotton of cocoa and mint — the waiter had to point out which were the real cotton and which were candy, and we picked them off the stem to eat! Really tasty, loveeeeeed the mint!

I loved this meal so much! Everything from start to finish was a delightful surprise, and I hope to go again the next time I’m in Barcelona. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Bohemian Restaurant (NYC)

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A long hallway next to a Japanese butcher shop begins our adventure tonight.

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The restaurant’s allure draws upon having to find out the phone number to call (only by word of mouth), making the reservations (you have to know a previous diner’s full name), and making your way to this — with no sign except the number “57”.

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Ringing the doorbell, it feels like you are entering someone’s residential apartment. And that’s how they want you to feel: like going to a friend’s house for dinner.

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There are only 6 tables and a few bar seats. No wonder seating is so exclusive and limited.

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The three of us went with the $58 tasting menu.

Farmer’s Fresh Vegetables Fondue: the cheese stole the show. The vegetables were just vehicles for the fondue.
Uni Croquette: I’m a big uni fan, so this was exciting to me. Uni on top of a warm, crispy croquette with some creamy mushroom filling. I devoured this in about 3 seconds.
Washu-Beef Short Rib Sashimi: This was one of my favorites of the night. With just a flake of garlic, a dab of wasabi, a drop of the sauce they provided, this dish becomes something that you dream about for days after consuming it.
Pan Roasted Branzino: I loved the roasted vegetables! Brussel sprouts, potatoes, mushrooms, rosemary stalks, and a whole fish.
Washu-Beef Mixed Burger
Assorted Sashimi

 

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My favorite of the night: yuzu panna cotta. I’m also a big time yuzu fan, and I loved the little pieces of yuzu zest throughout this dessert.
Check for three.

Bohemian Restaurant 
57 Great Jones St, New York 10012
Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
ny-info@playearth.jp

 

 

Birthday & Anniversary Dinner: Jungsik (NYC)

“We have to take the 1.”

That was the only hint I got when I was on my way to meet him for dinner on my birthday. What could it be…?

JUNGSIK. New Korean fine dining in New York City; the first Korean restaurant in America to be awarded two Michelin stars. We had a choice between a la carte and their 9-course $160 tasting menu. Of course, we went with the latter.

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We started off ordering two non-alcoholic drinks: a yuzu spritzer and an elderflower one, both refreshing and good in their own way.

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Our server presented our amuse bouche on a black slab, with 4 little bites to tease our taste buds. There was a fried chicken, eel cigar, a broth that I could not catch the name of.

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Next came one of my favorite dishes of the night, the bulgogi egg.

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The egg was perfectly poached and the crispy rice added a texture that complemented the soft, well-marinated beef. It was one of the more distinctly Korean dishes and a great start to the meal.

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Scallop: I thoroughly enjoyed the crispiness of the top, and was surprised to see that the inside was cooked to perfection, no rubbery meat here!

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Fried oyster: This was yet another amazing dish, with the oyster encrusted with black ink.

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Octopus: This was nicely charred, and was not chewy but crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

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The meal was interrupted by bread and butter (and salt!)

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Our server asked if we wanted more bread. After that, the courses continued.

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Crispy red snapper: This dish was juicy and clean. We didn’t care much for the green aioli sauce though; reminded me of salsa.

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The royal bibimbap: As soon as I heard the words “truffles” and “foie gras”, I dug in. It was a barley risotto with shaved black truffle. Definitely rich and hearty — I had a hard time finishing it.

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Jungsik steak: Wagyu. Need I say more? Juicy, melt-in-your-mouth, soft, tasty, all around delicious. This was my other favorite of the night.

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Watermelon: The series of desserts started with this refreshing sorbet as a palate cleanser; even though I’m normally not a fan of watermelon, I loved it.

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Green tea cremeux: Dollops of different flavors and milk ice cream! The green tea cremeux was like a dense mousse with a rich matcha flavor.

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Our server also brought out a chocolate dessert with “Happy Anniversary” and a candle on the plate.

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Corn creme brulee: It’s not a typical creme brulee; the deceivingly thin layer of custard was soft, which made me savor the dessert more. The top was not the hard, stuck-in-your-teeth kind of caramelized sugar, but melted instantly once it hit my tongue.

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After that, we thought it was over. But wait, not yet! Our server brought over an “anniversary bonsai”, with the top being a bonsai plant and the two trays below were filled with petit fours. There were macarons, more green tea and chocolate bites.

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Overall, JUNGSIK was a great dining experience. Service was outstanding and the atmosphere reminded me a little bit of Alinea, although not as extravagant and interactive. Their dishes were all beautifully plated and I must say, worth the trip to the West side.