Saturday, 17 August 2013

Another Trip to NYC

I was in New York again (lucky me) and the first place I want to write about is Forcella. It is the home of the famous Montanaro. That is a deep fried pizza (can you believe it?).

Surprisingly, it is not greasy and the crust is the right amount of crisp and chewy. The restaurant also serves the regular type pizza, but I think you go there for the Montanaro. It's in the Bowery which is a newly gentrified area that has a museum with interesting architecture and a number of fancy shops and boutiques.

Later in the week, I met my friend, Stacy, on the Lower East Side and we tried APizz--a Sicilian slang word for pizza. It gets a great write-up in Zagat and is really off the beaten tracks. We didn't get pizza this time, as the Branzino sounded wonderful: Branzino Wood Roasted, Deboned and Served Whole, Roasted with Rosemary, Thyme, and Lemon and served with a delicious Arugala-Tomato Salad.

The Little Owl is a small restaurant in the West Village with a big reputation. I went there with Pat and Tim with whom I have dined every time I am in NY for the past 40 or so years. I had never heard of the restaurant but was eager to try it. Unfortunately, it was dark and so I could not take very good photos. Two wonderful dishes were the Basil Lobster with a String Bean Salad,Curry Vinaigrette, and a Broiled Salmon with English Peas, Corn, Pesto Vinaigrette.

If you are looking to spend a fortune on great sushi, Gari is your place! The sushi served there are very creative in that there are inventive toppings on each of the fish served. The first time I went there, I took the Omakase (chef's choice) and had no idea how high the prices could go. But the sushi are terrific. This time, I chose an abbreviated menu and it was a lot less expensive but still painful for my pocketbook. Here are some examples of the beautiful creations:

The sushi are served with a cream or a spicy mixture on top. Of course, the sea urchin stand alone.

All the sushis are just wonderful and Gari is the only place you will find this.

Tune in tomorrow for a summary of my search for Lobster Rolls in Boston and other pursuits.

Kei: Fusion Cuisine in Paris

In a sobering minimalist decor, redo of a former classic French restaurant, is the new Kei. I went there with my friend, Noriko after we had tried Sola.

Once again, Japanese-French fusion food could transport me to great heights.

At lunch there are two menus, one more expensive and more substantial than the other. I chose the "big" menu. The menu started off with a bang: Crème Glacée de Truffe Noir, Potiron, Shizo. Shizo leaf is an aromatic herb that finds itself in many Japanese dishes.

The ice cream topped with a generous portion of black truffles was just luscious and I felt ready to start a great meal. Next was Asparagus Tempura with Peas. It came with three flavored salts: green tea, yuzu, cresson-agrumes.


Next came soup: Velouté d'Asperges Blanches, Caviar, Gelée de Consommé de Legumes servie froide was a sensation. The chef was taking advantage of the seasonal vegetables and I love anything topped with a good caviar.

The lunch menu continued with a lion's share of luxury products: Foie gras de Canard, Gelée de Pomme Verte, Bière Brune condiment, Crumble de vanille et d'amandes. This was extremely flavorful and astonishingly creative.

The first main course was great: St Pierre, Velouté de Truffes, Petits Legumes, avec une Compotée de Pomme de Terre et Oignons, Couche de truffes noires; the second main course, wonderful: Quasi de Veau, jus, Croquettes de fromage sur un Lit de Mousse de Cresson, Feuille de Moutarde.

There was a cheese course, which I could not eat and finally a Vacherin: Meringue au Yuzu, Sorbet à l'Orange Amer et Yuzu, Creme Vanillée, Kumquat confit.

With each course, I had superb wines including a Chassagne Montrachet Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Rouge 2010 and a Pouilly Fuisse Vieilles Vignes Domaine de la Chapelle 2009.

The difference between the menus was that I had three extra dishes and they were a bargain at 75 euros. This is a truly wonderful restaurant.