Under: American,Desserts,Dinner,Michelin 2010 Guide,Michelin 2011 Guide,My Life,Prix-fixe,seafood,Things to do in NYC,Tribeca
I’m a little behind on my Michelin posts because there are less than two months to go before the end of 2010 and I still have quite a few restaurants on my list! I visted to Corton with a date a couple weeks ago and had a great meal. I was a bit nervous about going to Corton on a date because I usually don’t bring out my camera on the first couple of dates (some people don’t like it) but my date 1. didn’t mind that I brought out my camera and 2. helped me take photos of his dishes! We had a late dinner reservation and decided to try the three course pre-fixe because a couple of friends had explained that even though it’s only three courses, there are lots of components to each dish and you end up being very satisfied with the three courses.
Our server walked us through the menu and after we ordered, two different servers brought along canapes for us – two small lightly fried balls filled with potato and black olive puree:
And a play on bagels and a green tea cake with seaweed paper:
I actually didn’t like any of the canapes and was worried that the samplings were a pre-cursor to our meal, but luckily, the flavors we sampled weren’t anything like what we ate for dinner. I thought everything was a little too oily and flavorless, which is rarely a complaint I have (usually it’s that everything is doused in salt). The presentation was very interesting (throughout the entire meal) but I didn’t like the first taste of Corton.
Servers also came by with bread – cranberry walnut and baguettes:
With seaweed butter and regular butter:
Both of the butters were delicious but the bread was a little disappointing; the cranberry walnut bread was more like toast; sliced into very thin pieces, very crispy, and there was absolutely no dough to sink your teeth into. On the other hand, the baguette was so tough that I thought I might’ve lost a tooth while attempting to break down the roll.
For our amuse bouches, I received the egg custard:
And my date had the foie gras chantilly cream with a cucumber gelee:
The presentation for my egg custard was really beautiful (hand-picked leaves from maple trees) but I thought the egg was too runny. My date actually liked my dish more than I did and I ended up liking his dish a lot more, so we ended up trading. The foie gras with cucumber gelee was such a refreshing yet decadent dish and the portion was so small that I was very excited to try some more for my first course.
For my first course, I ordered the Foie Gras – Flavors of Marcona Almond and Green Mango:
The dish really hit all of the flavors I love: foie gras – check; marcona almonds – check; green mango – check! It also came with a side of almond butter that had just a hint of toasted almond flavor that I really enjoyed and the foie gras was so creamy and delicious that I think it might be my second favorite foie gras in the city (favorite foie gras obviously goes to Per Se). The presentation made it a little difficult to destroy, but I definitely ate all of it with a side of brioche.
For my date’s first course, he ordered (with my approval) Sea – Kusshi Oyster | Pecan, Smoked Quail Toast, Diver Scallop, Sansho Pepper, Chestnut Velouté, Daurade, Wild Spinach, Fresh Yuzu, Spot Prawn, Lardo, Korean Pear:
I have a picture of the entire plating but he’s in it and I don’t want to reveal his face quite yet so I’ll save it for another time. When the servers came out, multiple servers had to bring out all of the plates and figure out how to place them on our seemingly small table. The dishes were all good but nothing really stood out as an amazing dish I’d like to order as a full-sized entree.
For my main course, I ordered the Guinea Hen:
And my date ordered the Tasting of Elysian Fields Farm Lamb – Loin, Neck, Sweetbread, Ricotta Crème, Huckleberry:
I liked the guinea hen and thought it was seasoned and cooked quite well; the leg meat was crusted with pistachio that gave each bite a crunchy texture and slightly toasted flavor, the sauce was rich and buttery, and the guinea hen was tender and flavorful. I also enjoyed the Elysian Fields lamb and really liked the herb-crusting that topped the lamb and I think my date enjoyed the dish, epecially the sweetbreads that were breaded in a course cornmeal.
For a palate cleanser, a server brought by some mango sorbet with yogurt:
And then we moved onto dessert – I ordered the “Gold Bar” – Pedro Ximénez, Smoked Caramel Ice Cream:
And my date ordered the Sesame – Yuzu | Buttermilk Granita, Concord Grape, Black Sesame:
I tasted both of the desserts but preferred the palate cleanser to the gold bar and the sesame because they were both tooth-achingly sweet. I ate the majority of the gold bar but thought the sesame dessert had very strange flavors (possibly because I associate sesame with Asian desserts that don’t include concord grapes).
I was really stuffed by the end of the meal and decided to take the mignardises home (financiers, macarons, and chocolates), which I thought were the best desserts they had. The dark chocolates were filled with caramel, the macarons were crispy, airy, and delicious, and the financiers had the perfect amount of moistness.
Overall, I enjoyed the meal but thought that the service was a bit off at times (when I walked in, there was no one to greet me – not even the bartender – I thought I actually entered through a back entrance since there was no indication that my entrance was the front entryway) and the servers rushed us a little towards the end of the meal by repeatedly coming by and asking if we were finished with our course. The food, however, was really inventive in terms of flavor profiles, presentation, and taste and I can definitely see why they deserve two Michelin stars.