Mind blowing meal at Chef’s Table @Brooklyn Fare and other NY food experiences

During my trip to NY this weekend, the highlight was finally getting a reservation, after 3 years of trips, to Chef table’s at Brooklyn Fare. After reading about it for so long, but also not knowing too much about it in detailed (you are not allowed to take pictures, notes etc. so the information out there is highly positive but not too detailed) I had extremely high expectations but did not know what to expect. Chef Cesar Ramirez 16 course menu, exceeded and surpassed my expectations by a mile. As my heading said it was a mind blowing experience. Why was it so great? I think it was a mix of various factors.

1. the Food: The food is simple but brilliant. It is very seafood and shell fish focused. The meal started with a couple of sashimi style courses, all with a little bit of an edge. it then went on to warmer smaller plates and finished off with two meat dishes, sorbet and dessert. The dishes I remember:

  • an uni presentation that was the best uni I’ve had, so smooth and silky. The chef mentioned he imports it directly from japan and was very proud of his supplier
  • A caviar dish, smoked with a foam and cream and potato that was to die for. Smoked caviar is definitely something wonderful
  • A soup of blue crab
  • an abalone sashimi bite
  •  lobster tail plate
  • a plate of perfect rice and truffle wonderfulness ( really no other way to describe it)
  • Perfectly cooked duck, with three vegetable sauces with the veggies on top: red beets, Brussels sprouts and squash. this plate was pure beauty
  • Wagyu beef
  • Basil sorbet
  • a wonderful dessert based on meringues and grapefruit

The chef actually mentioned to us that his whole approach was to have the best ingredients and let them speak for themselves. And speak they do. I think although an expensive tasting menu, with the amount of wagyu, foi gras, uni, truffles and lobster you get here, plus all the other beautiful seafood, it is defintly a good return on your money

2. the service and atmosphere: the girl who serves you, who is basically standing in the middle of the table the whole meal is a machine. She works with absolute military precision its kind of amazing to watch.

3. Maybe the wine we had?

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My only pic of the night: The fabulous dining room from outside

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Other great food experiences:

Torrisi: I have spoken time and again about this restaurant but it is just too good :). This weekend the menu was : Squash macchiato, Abalone with Celery, Blue Crab Minestrone, Veal Terrine, Sheep’s milk gnocchi, Salmon Cannelloni , Scallop Marsala and Ricotta for dessert. The best parts: The squash macchiato was completely unexpected and fabulous. I was also in love with my gluten free version of the gnocchi, that had a hazelnut sauce and the ricotta dessert. Some pictorial evidence of my meal:

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Sushi Nakasawa: I have had this on my to do list of restaurants since April, and managed to get a table this weekend. Is it as great as it is being heralded: Yes. Will I be going frequently: maybe not so much. As a very pure Japanese sushi restaurant is amazing, yet it doesn’t have the imagination that has made me love a place like Oya in Boston for years and keeps coming back. Also since it is a tasting menu, its good for once in a while but for regular sushi experience I prefer my a la carte.

Some picture of our meal:

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The best course: The two salmon pieces, the scallop with pepper as well as the Uni with truffle. In total we had 20 pieces  The other courses included three different cuts of Tuna, a selection of three white fish (including flounder), geoduck, salmon roe, 2 types of mackerel, eel and the famous tamago. The tamago was quite impressive I am definitely not a fan of tamago and this was like a wonderful little flan.

11 Madison Park: We did a repeat visit of 11 Madison, and unlike last time where I left completely amazed, this time it was just ok.

The menu:

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Pictures of the menu:

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Clockwise: Kabocha squash, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, The soda with the beef, the beef itself, how the plate looked before butting up the beef
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Clockwise: Long Island Seafood, Lions Mane Mushroom and Atlantic Halibut
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Clockwise: Charcuterie, Whey dessert and Millbrook Venison

My thoughts:

We were lucky enough that Daniel Humm was in the restaurant and he came by and told us that it was a new menu and it was only the third day. Sadly I think you could tell that it was a new menu. The timings were not there, and what is usually a 3 hour meal it took us over 4 hours and it just became a but too much as the timing between food was not the right one. My favorite dishes: The Hudson Valley Foie Gras (it just tasted spectacularly!), The Pastrami with Rye was fun due to the originality of it, and the whey dessert was amazing! totally up my alley. I didn’t really enjoy the charcuterie plate, nothing in it exited me, and the Atlantic halibut was a bit simple for my taste

Some of the  best things about the night:

  1.  the wines! I think a good wine makes everything better and not only did we have great wines but a great spectacle. The sommelier “beheaded” the bottle and I had never seen that in wine, only in port, and it was fun to watch .wpid-photogrid_1414097237629.jpg wpid-photogrid_1414097306465.jpg
  2. the surprise flavor card. You got to choose one flavor out of four (I chose apple). Then this flavor would appear as a surprise as part of your meal. I got my soda in the pastrami dish being an apple soda, and also my baked Alaska had apple.IMG-20141023-WA0015
  3. The Lion’s mane mushrooms. Had never seen them and it just looked really cool! flavor wise it doesn’t compare to a truffle but it was still very interesting texture and flavors.wpid-img-20141023-wa0016.jpg
  4. the cooking of the venison: it was cooked over some ashes they looked like little logs on a stove, very coolwpid-img-20141023-wa0018.jpg
  5. the baked Alaska being lit and caramelized table side. wpid-img-20141023-wa0017.jpg

Dover: Great place in Brooklyn. They have a cool and varied menu concept, with Raw, Frist, Second and Thirds. All the food was excellent, super fresh and with great flavor profiles. You can check out the menu online. What did I order: Scallop (Grapefruit, Aji Dulce); Butternut Squash (Yogurt, Tahini, Pine Nuts); Ceviche (Uni, Clams, Ginger); Lobster (Potato, Pearl Onion, Brussels Sprouts, Coral Sauce). What did my friends order: Garganelli (Pork Ragu, Shishito Peppers); Winter Squash Agnolotti (Brown Butter, Date, Almond)

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Clockwise: Garganelli (Pork Ragu, Shishito Peppers); Scallop (Grapefruit, Aji Dulce); Butternut Squash (Yogurt, Tahini, Pine Nuts)

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