NYC Kaiseki: Brushstroke (Aug. 2012)
Authors: Victor and Montague
Exec Chef: Isao Yamada
Owner: David Bouley
Date: August 16, 2012
Dinner: Late Summer Kaiseki Menu
-house-made ginger ale with rice shochu and lime.
Monte: The cocktail was light and refreshing, which was pleasant since it was hot outside at the time.
Monte: Really light and floral, there might be something more poetic about it but it went over my head.
Chilled Summer Vegetables in Dashi Broth.
-includes a zucchini blossom stuffed with a dumpling of scallop and crab.
Monte: Again, it was light and freshly floral. Cooling and soothing.
Golden Crab Egg Custard “Chawan-mushi” with Truffle Ankake Sauce.
-sauce of golden crab with black truffle pâté.
-finished with a few Australian black winter truffle slices.
Monte: After the first chrysanthemum tea and chilled vegetables, this truffled chawanmushi tasted like a heavy hitter. That’s just in contrast to the prior dishes though – after my taste buds adjusted, I found this dish to be very well-balanced and I liked the sweet crab meat.
Chef’s Sashimi Selection:
-Back left: Seared toro.
-Back right: Toro.
-Middle: Ebi (shrimp).
-Front left: Shima aji (striped jack).
-Front right: Tai (snapper).
-Bottom: Wasabi and a chili-and-daikon mix.
Monte: The sashimi was very fresh, although nothing to go out of your way for.
Summer Vegetable Chirashi-zushi.
Monte: aaand we go back to the gorgeous veggies.
Yuzu Perfumed Akamutsu (Grilled Rosy Seabass).
Maine Lobster Tail with Uni Sauce, Caviar, Yuzu Miso Cream (left), and Chrysanthemum Purée (right).
Monte: This dish was pretty fun to eat and I liked the multiple sauce options. I ended up liking the yuzu-miso one more, it had this juxtaposition of deep earthiness and light-herbalness that was quite delightful.
Chilled Summer Corn Soup.
-with hearts of palm, cape gooseberries, and a mint licorice leaf.
Monte: All the flavors of a great corn chowder, without any of the heaviness. I would love to know the secret to make this at home.
Seared Duck Breast marinated in Green Tea.
-Malanga Yam Purée.
Chazuke Broth with Steamed Rice.
-with crispy ume plum, hijiki seaweed, and dried daikon strips.
Dungeness Crab Zousui Rice.
-with fresh uni and sake-kasu broth.
Monte: Crab + uni = winning
Matcha green tea and wagashi.
Soy sauce ice cream.
Monte: Slightly salty/savory, but mostly sweet. It’s a really clever and well-balanced ice cream. I certainly would’ve never thought soy sauce would be a delicious ice cream flavor, so this was a great surprise!
-Right: Rice crackers topped with shiso powder.
-Left: Rice crackers topped with green tea powder.
Monte: The rice crackers were a great way to end the meal and just munch while reflecting on the great meal. They were almost gummy once you bit into it, which was a fun surprise. This was only my second kaiseki meal, so I don’t have as much of a reference as to how it compares to other experiences, but I personally thought it was really good.