NYC: The NoMad Rooftop (Aug. 2012)
Authors: Victor, Steven, and Tad
Restaurant: NoMad Rooftop
Chef: Daniel Humm
Date: August 2, 2012
– The height (chuckle) of one of the more exclusive NYC fine-dining experiences is the summer tasting menu at The NoMad Restaurant, on the rooftop of the Nomad Hotel. You must buy your “reservation” ticket at 10 a.m. on the day of the reservation, similar to the online ticketing system of Next and Alinea. It is the next progression of the concept of food as performance art. Exquisite.
– I am a big fan of Daniel Humm’s other work, so thought I would broaden these guys’ horizons with something they can only get during a few hot months in summer.
-The food had to make its way from the restaurant kitchen all the way up to the rooftop, and I think that made things a lot slower. They took FOREVER to bring food/drinks out and to pick up our finished dishes/drinks. We started dinner at around 8:40 p.m. or so, and I think we finished dinner at around midnight.
-My iPhone isn’t very good at taking pictures at night, so most of the pictures have flash and look a bit funny.
-This was a great venue…the food was good and it was really nice out. The only issue was that it did take forever. But yeah, light, tasty, well constructed, if a bit stuffy.
We sat on the rooftop of the NoMad hotel, and here’s how the “restaurant” area looked like.
Victor: Our table was actually pretty small, but I guess it made things feel more cozy.
Tad: There was another party here that got the “tower room” in the corner. I wonder how much I have to pay in order to reserve seats there. Oh well, next summer.
Steven: We had pretty waitresses.
Tad: I was really happy because they served non-alcoholic drink pairings! Some restaurants in Chicago will give you non-alcoholic drink pairings, but very, very few fine dining restaurants in NYC have them. We ordered the soft drink pairing; something new to try, as these meals can get boring unless you mix it up.
Victor: It was kind of exciting to be able to try soft drinks instead of having to drink wine (or just water). Probably because I don’t really like wine thaaat much :(. Also, you take in fewer calories with non-alcoholic drinks!
Steven: I really wanted wine. Man….I am the only alcoholic in this group.
Course 1, Drink:
Course 1, Food:
“Chef’s ceviche”. Littleneck clam, sturgeon, salmon roe, cucumber, and melon.
Course 2, Drink:
House-made tomato soda.
Victor: I actually thought that this was one of the stars of the menu. The tomato flavor was really sweet, and it just… “fit” really well as a soda.
Steven: I totally agree. This was an awesome soda. Like carbonated gazpacho, almost.
Course 2, Food, Part 1:
Flatbread with tomatoes, parmesan, and basil.
Tad: Really? This is kind of just pizza.
Steven: This is really good pizza. I mean, it is a really interesting way to present different aspects of tomatoes.
Course 2, Food, Part 2:
“Tomato salad”. Variations of tomato dressed in extra-virgin olive oil and mozzarella.
Course 3, Drink:
The NoMad’s take on a float. White tea, egg yolk, house-made grenadine, licorice syrup, and a little club soda.
Steven: This was really good as well. A bit too sweet for me, but worked well with the really savory eggplant and sausage dish that it was supposed to accompany.
Tad: Ah floats. When I was younger, my parents were worried because the other kids at boarding school didn’t like me. I didn’t mind – it is the hardships we go through that forge us into the human beings we are today. But, my parents, as always meddled. So they took my entire class to get ice cream at Serendipity. Anyway, long story short, people still didn’t like me. This reminds me of that.
Course 3, Food:
Roasted eggplant dish with sausage, bulgar wheat, wheatberries, and licorice.
Course 4, Drink:
Steven: I liked this soda quite a bit as well. The fennel was refreshing, but there was too much ice.
Course 4, Food:
Slow-cooked black bass with squash, zucchini, and oregano.
Course 5, Drink:
Pinot-noir juice, smoked tea, and honey.
Steven: “I like this one. Reminds me of a whiskey cocktail.”
Tad: “What a terrible waste of pinot noir grapes. Luckily, this juice was probably made from California grapes, so no fine wine was harmed in its making.”
Steven: “I LIKE Californian wines.”
Tad: “You like fluffy, fruit-heavy wines with too much acid; how quaint.”
Course 5, Food:
36-day dry-aged rib eye with chanterelles, radish corn, and puréed… something.
Tad: This meat dish was good, but a bit boring. There was no spark, no inspired gesture to elevate it beyond a serviceable and well cooked piece of steak. Acceptable.
Course 6, Drink:
“Cherry float”. Cherry, chamomile, and vanilla.
Course 6, Food:
“Cherry sundae”. Cherry sorbet, mascarpone ice cream, and a spongecake that was dipped in liquid nitrogen to be smoky.
Victor: The texture of the spongecake was… interesting. It was very cold and a bit crispy, and at the same time it was very soft and melted in your mouth a bit.
Tad: I think this was the most innovative dish of the night. The sponge cake was truly something that even I have rarely tasted. The other elements, especially the tartness of the cherry, made the dish that much more complex.
The NoMad’s take on a “New York snow cone”:
Victor: This was actually much smaller than the picture makes it look.
Steven: Interesting take…wasn’t that tasty.
Tad: For once I agree with you. Wasn’t quite sure what this dish was supposed to be. A palate cleanser for the end of the meal? A petit four in frozen form? Too much cleverness, and not enough observance of flavor.