NYC: Corton (July 2012)
Authors: Victor and Monty
Exec Chef: Paul Liebrandt
Date: July 27, 2012
Monte: I had just sprained my ACL the day before and so I was rather distracted throughout this whole meal by the pain that was shooting up my right leg. However, from what I could pay attention to, this meal was bizarre. I didn’t really know what I was eating half the time, nor could I clearly discern the different flavors. It was all just truly unique food that couldn’t fit a description. I will try my best with a couple of them, but it’s really too unfamiliar for me to truly comment on. I think Liebrandt’s vision was just lost on me at the time.
Onion and sesame meringue.
Blackberry wrapped with lardo.
Monte: Creamy porky fruit? Um, sure? It tastes exactly as imagined, except what’s imagined is so disjointed and incoherent.
Yuzu-and-saffron mochi with a little sake inside.
Cracker with maple cream and broccoli.
Monte: I really liked the texture of these crackers, they’re super foamy on the inside like a shrimp chip, and wafer-like on the outside. I think it was rather sweet, presumably from the maple. I couldn’t tell where the broccoli came in though.
Red-miso financier with ricotta and seaweed.
Morel and maitake mushroom chawanmushi with orange blossom and goat’s milk whey.
Breads and Butter:
Left: Seaweed butter.
Right: Sweet Vermont (I think?) butter.
Monte: The seaweed butter was really good. All that oceanic salty and briny flavor of seaweed combined with butter? Hell yeah!
Left: Ricotta-and-zucchini focaccia.
Right: Walnut bread.
(Inside orange and cardamom gelée)
Crunchy black radish and almond milk crème.
Monte: I don’t know why the langoustine was inside a gelee. There are a lot of “I don’t know why”s in this meal though.
(Encrusted with eggplant powder)
Melange of morels and anise hyssop, pine nut, girolles, and black sablé.
Aubergine Caviar (Aubergine is basically the UK word for eggplant.)
Eggplant sable with white sturgeon caviar.
“A fairytale of aubergine and caviar”
Hearts of palm, lemon olive oil jam, white beer sorbet, black prince tomato. The dot of sauce on the left is a soy honey glaze. There’s also kaffir lime sprinkled over the dish.
Apple Wasabi 2012
Green apple | wasabi sorbet, extra virgin olive oil, and smoked Maldon salt.
Monte: This dish was pretty awesome. It’s savory and spicy from the wasabi and strangely sweet from the apple. The two flavors worked in combination pretty well, but felt almost like a palette cleanser, rather than a middle course.
Flowering coriander, local Albacore tuna | black miso crust, pickled strawberry, coconut | yuzu jus (the menu calls it a “jus”, although the waitress called it “coconut curry”).
Course 7’s First preparation:
Monte: The rabbit burger was pretty tender, much more so than ground beef usually is. The bun was soft and buttery, and made this a delightful bite.
Course 7’s First preparation (continued):
Rabbit royale with cheese, brioche, crispy potato, and ramp mayonnaise.
Course 7’s Second preparation:
Slow-cooked loin, confit of sepia, cucumber | Chartreuse.
6 o’clock: Loin with saltwater gelée.
10 o’clock: Cuttlefish confit.
12 o’clock: Rib crusted with green tea.
Monte: The rabbit loin and rib were all very delicately cooked and had very tender meat, but the accompanying elements to the dish were, again, lost on me. I didn’t understand how the flavors were supposed to work together, and I didn’t know what the flavors were supposed to make me feel.
In the cup on the side: Foie gras mousse with squid ink on top.
Caramelized hazelnut, toasted hazelnut cracker, goat milk whey, Xérès gelée (cherry gelée).
This was a pretty weak cheese.
Pink peppercorn and effervescent consommé of sake and rhubarb.
I forgot to take a picture of this one before I ate it :(. SAAAD. Oh well. I took a pic of the dish AFTER we finished it hahaha.
Smoked maple crème, sour cherry purée, coffee sponge cake, almond, and toast ice cream.
Monte: A pretty standard dessert with flavors I could clearly pick apart, unlike the rest of the meal. I really appreciated the sponge cake for truly being spongy – with that springy texture that gave way with some pressure and then sprung back into an aerated shape. It was a really fun dessert to eat.
Victor: I forgot to take a picture of this part, too :(.
Monte: It really was just odd eating this meal and not really understanding where the chef is going with the dishes. I think Corton is the only place so far that has made me feel like this. I kind of want to come back sometime when I’m not screaming in agony for half the meal due to my leg, but at the same time, I don’t know if it’s worth the hefty pricetag just to be bewildered.