We arrived on time (8pm), and were facing the beautiful entrance. How many guests are eating here ?
Once comfortably seated in a small square table located in a corner of the huge dining room, our dinner can start with a glass of champagne from Henri Goutorbe, Cuvée Prestige, from Ay and some delicous amuses.
These amuses were really excellent. Not exceptional, but excellent. Fresh, tasty, crispy. Very good start.
We of course decide to select the Gourmand Menu, a 12 courses menu, with wine pairing for me.
The dining room is beautiful and huge indeed with high ceilings. The flowers decoration reminds me the Cinq in Paris in some way.
The atmosphere looks more strict of course than WD-50, but very cosy and enjoyable. The service was also quite strict and highly distant at the beginning but we managed to have some talks, and a couple of hours later, the ice was broken and we enjoyed nice chats with the guys taking care of us.
Back to the menu, a 12 courses « surprise » menu, they asked us if we had some allergies or products we didn’t liked, and also asked if we would like to add some Alba truffles on one dish… we said yes.
Royal Sterling Caviar, baked potato ice cream with sour cream and chives
Henri Goutorbe, Cuvée prestige, Ay, Vallée de la Marne, Champagne
Excellent first dish. The ice cream was fantastic : subtile taste, sweet, matching really well with the cream and the caviar.
Heirloom beets, liquid sphere with Lynnhaven « chèvre frais »
Some pure molecular but now classic dish here : we were told that the cheese was coming from one of the best regional US producer, and i must say it was really tasty and excellent.
Cape Cod Bay Crab, roulade with advocado, lime and yoghurt
Trimbach, Riesling, Cuvée Frédéric Emile, 2001, Alsace
One of the highlight of the meal ! Great product quality, tastes were extremely well balanced and the overall freshness was really appreciated.
Foie gras, terrine with golden pineapple, pickeld pearl onions and rum-raisin brioche
Chateau Tirecul La Gravière, Clos du Chateau, Monbazillac, 2003
Another highlight of this meal : the pairing with the pineapple can be surprising but after first bites, it works perfectly well and even sounds logical. The brioche and small emulsion served besides were terrific as well.
Alba truffles, russet potato gnocchi with Parmiggiano Reggiano
Rocche dei Manzoni, Vigna dei Dardi, Barolo, Piedmont, 1998
The cooking of the gnocchis was great. Overall, this dish was very good but not exceptional. The truffles came in a small box, and they grated some slices on our dishes. The smell was there but it was really not tasty at all. Later on when paying the bill, we’ll discover they have priced this extra truffle course at 180$ for the 2 of us. Hum. What to say. Just trying to forget it.
Maine Diver Scallop, seared with acorn squash, satsuma tangerine and ginger
Dirler, Gewurtzraminer, Saering, Grand Cru, 2003, Alsace
Fortunately, the next dish came on table and this scallop course was excellent. A very nice course, not only from a visual perspective. Strong tastes, perfect cooking, maybe the best dish of the menu to me.
For the next fish course, i never managed to get the detailed course description as the printed menu they gave us at the end of our evening was wrong on some dishes. Ennoying but no that much as this course was probably the less interesting one of our meal.
Same description issue for the next dish, we didn’t get the right description (and i didn’t ask for the good one when i realized it some days later – shame on me).
The previous fish course was OK, no more, while the last one here above, was really good again.
Fot this last dish, we enjoyed a nice burgundy wine : Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Clos de la Maréchale, Premier Cru, Monopole, Nuits-Saint-Georges, 2004.
A word about the wine list : one of the best i’ve seen recently. They said that wine is also their expertise, hard to check on evening only, but at least their wine menu is impressive and of high quality.
Colorado Lamb, herb roasted with parsnips, cumin and sheep’s milk yogurt
Excellent dish. I appreciate the cooking of the lamb, the whole components working well and offering a great pairing with the wine.
Quinta do Noval, 20 year tawny
American cheese again, i loved them. Very interesting.
Malted Milkshake, sorbet with tahitian vanilla and Terre Bormane olive oil
Billecart Salmon, Demi-sec, Champagne
My preferred dessert without any doubt. Second time i have malted preparation for a dessert (after my Ledoyen lunch) and this was one was as good as the one we got in Paris.
Milk chocolate, palette with bosc pears and chestnuts
Chateau de Suronde, Quarts de Chaume, Loire Valley, 2000
Good dessert, nothing exceptional but good.
We ended our meal with a great selection of petits fours, we tried all of them and they were just excellent… 🙂
We left EMP around 1am, pleased with the evening we had.
The wines we got were diversified and of an excellent quality level. The service appeared to be extremely professional and efficient, maybe too « mechanic » at the beginning but much more relaxed and friendly at the end. We appreciate it and thanked them for that.
The meal itself was of very good level. More « classic » and less creative of course than WD-50 but generally speaking, the dishes were working well : very good quality product, a great work is done on the tastes too. Except this truffle story, we experienced a very nice dinner and i would go back there for sure, and not only for their fantastic wine list.
That was our second and last meal in NY, moving the day after to Chicago and looking forward to Alinea.