Baccarat – New York (Le Bar & Chevalier)

January 18th, 2016

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The Ultimate Luxury Experience.   Yes, I’ve found my oasis in New York and I’m anticipating the return as this is where I shall seek refuge and solace, as uncompromising elegance, style and impeccable taste are the hallmarks of this gem.  I so wish I could take all the credit for this discovery, unfortunately I cannot.  A dear friend’s friend suggested a visit to Baccarat’s bar as we sat at the Algonquin’s Blue Bar over cocktails.  Upon meeting Liz, she exuded elegance, style, sophistication and an assured demeanor of refinement – - so any recommendation of her’s received my full attention.  After we said our good-byes, a quick walk to 28 West 53rd Street ensued and we landed in Baccarat’s Bar.

 

Baccarat Chandelier

 

After we made ourselves comfortable, two of my favorite things appeared……

Baccarat Crystal & Ruinart:

 

Ruinart

 

Ruinart & Baccarat

 

And of course,  I had to eat, as eating is one of my favorite past times.  The Duck Pastrami “Sliders” and Lobster Rolls were delicious.  “V,” our server, was amazing. Her timing was impeccable as our glasses were never empty, nor were we ever rushed.  So with a little more desiring, we ordered glasses of 2012 Philippe Colin “Chassagne-Montrachet” & 2008 La Parde De Haut-Bailly as we made room for several more rounds of sliders and rolls!!!

 

Duck Pastrami “Sliders”

 

2012 Philippe Colin “Chassagne-Montrachet”

 

Lobster Roll

 

2008 La Parde De Haut-Bailly

 

Le Bar

 

After several glasses of Ruinart and several rounds of small bites we found ourselves enthralled in the timeless beauty and elegance of Baccarat.  Being surrounded by exquisite and refined crystal is mesmerizing as it changes your energy.  The fragile and delicate appearance of each individual piece creates a collective brilliance unlike any other experience – - the visual is simply stunning.  Feeling the need to explore, I politely inquired about “Chevalier” the Parisian brasserie at Baccarat – - sold,  as the idea of experiencing French inspired cuisine lurked on the horizon.  We made a reservation for lunch and here’s what turned out to be another reason why Baccarat is now my “Must” in New York!!!

 

Chevalier

 

Chevalier

What an incredible experience.  After this sublime encounter, I did my homework and discovered a coveted review that I’m sharing as our experience fit the review perfectly – - it was if it were written while we gazed into gastronomic space………

 

MCHELIN Guide

“Bearded hipsters are not the target market for every new opening. This glamorous brasserie within the Baccarat Hotel is unashamedly geared to the more grown-up members of the city’s social scene-those for whom 53rd Street is downtown. The space exudes old-school charm as the dapper waitstaff coddles those Manhattan powerbrokers and their mink-trimmed cohorts. The menu offers a modern re-working of classic French dishes. The clientele are not the sort to be too concerned by prices but at least one can see where the money goes. The scallops, served with comté and morels, are huge and the veal loin with sweetbreads is not for the fainthearted. And as you would expect from a hotel called Baccarat, the glassware is pretty impressive too.”

 –MICHELIN guide inspectors

 

 

 

And now what I live for……

2014 Abbazia Di Novacella Kerner, Alto Adige

 

Chevalier

 

Squash Soup (Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter, Creme Fraiche)

 

Crab Salad (Dungeness Crab, Everything Cracker, Pickled Vegetable Salad)

 

Filet of Cobia (Sunchoke Purée, Marinated Tomato Salad with Smoked Bacon)

 

Giannone Chicken
(Baby Zucchinis, Bacon, Roasted Cipollini Onions, Mustard Jus)

 

Warm Apple Cider Beignet (Crabapple Jelly, Calvados Ice Cream)

 

Divine Chocolate Delight

 

Chevalier

Our initial encounter created instant loyalty.  We truly experienced the essences of what it means to be the finest artisan.  Now that I’ve found my oasis, I will be sure to keep you posted on my returns – - and yes there shall be many!!!!!!!

Chef Gallante, we look forward to the next gastronomic adventure.  See you soon!!!!

 

 Baccarat

 

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Bouley – New York

January 13th, 2016

Fresh apples perfume the air as you make your way into this ultra luxurious, yet cozy and intimate dining oasis.  With an exotic hand-painted white orchid accenting the waiting area wall, you immediately get a sense of the rare and refined.  As you wait to be seated while enjoying an exquisite glass of Champagne or cocktail, your eyes catch glimpses of “palates in waiting” or “expressions of sheer delight”  in the dining room as your senses with the exception of taste, are now engaged – - your mouth waters and your evening of unforgettable gastronomic ecstasy is on the cusp of unfolding.  This is and continues to be my experience at Bouley – - an ultimate gastronomic experience.

Visiting New York without a reservation at this Michelin starred restaurant is simply sinful.  Thanks to my good friends, Mr. Adrien Falcon, Sommelier, and Mr. Syed Shamim, Bouley Captain, I’m always put at ease and never have to worry about committing such sin.  I had the good fortune of returning to Bouley as we were here in November with eight of our closest friends during the Young Concert Artist’s final auditions.  Nothing like great music, wine and food – - and yes, Bouley was the icing on the cake.  We all had an incredible evening which lead to the reservation for this positing.  During our visit to the kitchen in November, Chef Bouley told us to come back hungry.  We had no idea what we were in store for – - the “Caviar” and “White Truffles” were out of this world.  Needless to say, we never tire of the incomparable cuisine of Chef Bouley and neither will you once you’ve allowed your senses to be taken over by his passion.  This is not to be missed.

Bouley

 

Bouley

 

Bouley

 

Bouley

 

Bouley

 

Champagne Cocktail

 

Blini of Scottish Smoked Salmon

 

Amuse Bouche – Bouley

 

2014 Tatomer Grüner Veltliner, Meeresboden (Santa Barbara County)

 

MALIBU SEA URCHIN (Golden Oscietra Caviar, meyer lemon, green apple)

 

Artisnal Bread

 

2014 Domaine Georges Vernay “Le pied de Samson” Viognier

 

Scallops

 

Caviar

 

Scallops & Caviar

 

2013 Burja Estate ‘Petite Burja’ Malvasia, Vipava, Slovenia

 

Forager’s treasure of wild mushrooms with White Truffles

 

Potato crusted Sea Bass

 

2007 Sylvain Loichet Meursault 1er cru “Genevrières”

 

Bouley

 

PORCINI FLAN (Golden Princess crab, black truffle dashi)

 

2012 Nicolas Mariotti Bindi “Mursaglia”

 

Scallops – Bouley

 

1999 Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec

 

Bouley

 

Mr. Adrien Falcon, Sommelier

 

Mr. Adrien Falcon, Sommelier

 

Bouley

 

Domaine Tortochot Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Jeunes Rois”

 

A5 #12 TRUE KOBE BEEF (New York sirloin cut,) GRASS FED CANADIAN BUFFALO (Sheep’s milk and rosemary gnocchi, glazed sweet onions)

 

2006 Domaine de Torraccia Corse Porto-Vecchio “Cuvee Oriu,” (Corsica, France)

 

Dessert

 

1994 Moulin Touchais – Coteaux du Layon

 

Dessert

 

Mignardises Tower

 

Shutting down Bouley

 

Shutting Down Bouley

 

With Adrien – November Visit

 

With Syed – November Visit

Chef Bouley, thank you for what turned into an unbelievable and yes ultimate gastronomic experience. We never tire of you perfection and gladly welcome the opportunity to consume whatever you set fire to.  We shall see you in 2016!!! Syed, it’s always a pleasure to be greeted by you and to have your expertise guide us throughout our dining experience. We are counting down the days to our return.  Adrien – - your palate and the amazing pairings you continually astound us with, is always welcomed. Your ability to work magic with the mind-blowing cuisine of Chef Bouley is to be admired and our curiosity awaits the next feast!!!!  We are grateful and we thank the entire staff for making our many returns so memorable.

 

 

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The Rainbow Room – - New York

January 2nd, 2016

Way up high………

© Rainbow Room – Courtesy of The Rainbow Room

With its reopening in October of 2014 after a five-year hiatus, this spectacular room with magnificent views is by far one of the  most gratifying and must-do rooms when in New York.  Located on 65th floor of Rockefeller Center this iconic and historic spot is synonymous with all things opulent.  When I received notice from my friend Manuel Enfedaque of his new position as Director of Dining Club at the Rainbow Room, I jumped at the opportunity to see this landmark as I wanted to experience first-hand what I’d only read about.

I finally got the chance on November 8th to visit.  With an incredible brunch that lasted for four hours, new meaning was giving to the notion of loosing track of time and what a way to do so.  My brunch experience was over the top – - literally and figuratively.  The history alone pulls you in, but once you hear the live band creating an atmosphere of decadence, you immediately become consumed by, and escorted into, full-on sensory euphoria as the view, music, food and wine transport you to “OTHER.”  The following is my return to the Rainbow Room in early December.

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

 

Rainbow Room

My return to the Rainbow Room in the span of four weeks is somewhat overwhelming, but in the most delicious way.  With numerous stations of mouthwatering and palate pleasing cuisine to suit your every mood, my various characters prepared to engage in full throttle consumption — as a different character is necessary to enjoy this feast.  By the time we finished I’d forgotten which character was leaving, but what I do remember is the atmosphere of elegance, flawless service, incomparable cuisine and the friendship.  Manuel, Ricky and Chef Wright, thank you again for another fantastic experience.  We look forward returning and having more of the same!!!!

 

Way up High……The Rainbow Room

 

 

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EOLO – New York

December 28th, 2015

 

EOLO

 

 

EOLO – visiting an old friend in a new place.  It was during my past trip to New York early this December that I made contact with an old friend from Capri, Italy.  I met Daniele while staying at Capri Palace where he was a sommelier at Restaurant L’Olivo.  Several years had passed since we last saw each other, but a quick call or text always kept us in touch.  We made every effort to never loose contact and always planned to meet up in the US or Italy to catch up over wine and food.  I was ecstatic to learn that E0l0 had become his playground as the head sommelier.  When Daniele extended an invite for lunch at Eolo I couldn’t wait to dive in as I was sure the wine and food would be excellent.  True to form – - it was like being back in Italy as aromas of truffle oil and fresh steaming hot focaccia bread was brought to the table.  A I nursed a glass of Grillo, the rest was left in the hands of my friend Daniele and wow what a terrific time we had as the food and wine flowed.  My only regret is that I could not make it last forever as there was a major dinner on the horizon.  Here’s lunch as I so desperately needed to save room for dinner.

 

Eolo

 

EOLO

 

EOLO

 

Focaccia and Truffle Oil

 

La Lista De Vini

 

Bruschetta Con Ricotta (Grilled Focaccia topped with Homemade Ricotta, Spicy Pepper infused Honey & Crumbled Pistachios

 

2011 Caravaglio ‘Nero du Munti’ Corinto Nero Salina IGT, Sicily, Italy.

 

Daniele

 

Polpette in Sugo (Pork & Beef Meatballs with Pine Nuts , Rosemary and Fennel Seed over Potato Puree. Drizzled with Tomato Sauce

 

Daniele

 

2012 Feudo Montoni Sicilia Vigna Lagnusa Nero D’Avola

 

Chicken Gaddia (Organic Chicken, Crumbled Sausage, Shiitake Mushrooms and a light Tomato Sauce)

 

2012 Feudo Arancio Stemmari Dalila Sicilia (80% Grillo, 20% Viognier)

 

Homemade Cannoli

 

Sfinci (Ricotta doughnuts filled with a vanilla-orange pastry cream & dark chocolate dipping sauce)

 

WOW!!! Another successful outing with a dear friend whose palate totally enhanced my every bite with with wine pairings.  Great selections Daniele – - see you soon!!!

 When in New York, make time to visit EOLO and please let Daniele know that I suggested you stop in and stay awhile!!!!

EOLO

190 Seventh Avenue

(between W22nd & 21st)

New York, NY 10011

(646) 225.6606

A la Familia!!!

Up Next: The Rainbow Room

 

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A Few Of My Favorite Things…..

December 24th, 2015

The night before “The Night Before Christmas.”

This is a simple post as the things posted are simple pleasures I love and live for!!!!!

Limoges, Crystal, Ruinart & Caviar

 

Ruinart & Caviar

 

Ruinart & Caviar

 

Limoges, Crystal, Ruinart & Caviar

 

Up Next: EOLO

 

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