NYC: Dovetail (Apr. 2013): Mom’s Visit Meal #1!
Authors: Victor, Monte, and David (guest blogger!)
Exec Chef: John Fraser
Date: April 5, 2013
Victor: My mom and my cousin visited me last weekend, and I wanted to show them some of my favorite fine dining restaurants in the city! This is stop #1 of 4: Dovetail!
White truffle arancini, rosemary wheat cracker, and cornbread.
Victor: These were amazing as usual!
Monte: They seriously don’t get old. That first bite of the cornbread, when the crunchy exterior gives way to the steamy sweet corn filling…yum.
David: The arancini had a nice texture and lasting taste.
Coconut-and-parsnip panna cotta with blood orange gelée and caviar on top.
Monte: There’s a lot of coconut here and the dish tasted pretty tropical. The caviar added a nice salty touch but I wish there was either a tiny bit more caviar (hah! a spoiled thought) or at least some other salty briny element to add more of salty contrast to the sweet panna cotta. Just a little bit though, it was already really good as is.
David: I am naturally biased to any dish that has “blood orange” in its content or name.
New Brunswick oyster with… some stuff that I forgot :(.
Monte: I believe there was grapefruit with the oyster? Whatever it was, it all packaged together to compose a great oyster. And I think that’s the problem with the dish – it’s so darn tasty that one tiny little bite just doesn’t feel satisfying.
David: Fresh, but nothing made it particularly memorable for me.
Roasted Beet Salad
with ricotta salata, coffee, and almonds.
The beets were compressed with red wine vinegar and champagne vinegar.
Victor: This dish was pretty simple, but it was really well-executed. I feel like you pretty much can’t go wrong with a combination of beets, cheese, and some kind of nut haha…
Monte: The beets were amazingly tender and meaty while maintaining their sweetness, and there was a great interesting contrast when the the kitchen added the candied kumquat (thinly sliced orange circle on lower left of the botom beet). The kumquat is slightly sweet but even more tart, and the acidity pleasantly brightened the dish.
David: Enjoyable, but it doesn’t convince me to own a beet farm.
with spring bouquet and black truffles.
Victor: My cousin enjoyed both the spring bouquet of vegetables and the consommé a lot… by themselves. She didn’t really think that the spring bouquet and consommé were perfectly made for each other, though. According to her, it felt like they decided to prepare the consommé and then add the spring bouquet in. Also, she felt that the black truffle was completely unnecessary to the dish and was there for really no good reason.
Monte: This wasn’t my cup of tea either. It tasted kind of like tea – herbal-y and fresh, but without any real satisfaction. I think this was the only dish of the night that I found mediocre.
David: The texture and mixture of flavor didn’t suit my palate.
with cucumbers and Dungeness crab Hollandaise.
Monte: Hurraaah a fanfreakingtastic dish. The salty sweet crab and flaky buttery halibut was amazingly well-balanced and delicious. Using a small amount of crab to kick up a sauce is so creative and needs to be done more.
David: Delicious. It made me want to compress and savor the entire deliciousness in one bite.
with endive and cranberries.
Victor: The squab was pretty amazing. It was the most tender squat I’ve ever had, and it was incredibly juicy. I wonder how much butter they used…
Monte: I was already pretty elated from the halibut but this squab just brought happiness to another level. The livery gamey meat was just so tender, it approached boudin-sausage-level softness. More tender than 99% of the filet mignons I’ve had. Maybe 100%.
David: My favorite dish of the night – unique taste with a chewy but soft give in the meat. Dish was well proportioned too. Anymore and the meat’s uniqueness would be overwhelming.
with chanterelle mushrooms, spiced pain perdu, and maple espuma.
Victor: The yolk was creamy, and I liked how it would soak into the pain perdu underneath, adding some totally unnecessary but welcome creaminess to something that was already really soft and sweet!
Sauteed Foie Gras
with graham crackers and huckleberries.
Monte: Oh, do we not have a picture of this one? It was pretty – when is a slab of foie on a plate ever not? Livery fatty juicy deliciousness.
Victor: Yep, I forgot to take a picture haha :(. Oh well, my cousin might have one; I’ll upload a copy in the future if I can get my hands on a pic…
David: I don’t really know how to enjoy foie. I understand more of why people would oppose it than I do the reasons behind why people actually enjoy the taste or why they are willing to pay the price for it. I need to stop trying it and thinking I’m still curious about it. It was a huge serving, though. Jeez.
with king trumpet mushrooms and beef cheek lasagna.
Victor: The sirloin was really well-cooked, and the king trumpet mushroom was out-of-this-world (that bone marrow sauce—mmmmmm!).
David: The steak and cheek were excellent and provided a range of tenderness and beefy flavor. Impressively, the mushroom and sauce managed to be more memorable and overshadowed the beef.
Celery sorbet and yogurt espuma.
Monte: This fresh and subtle sweet palette cleanser was enough to be a dessert in of itself.
David: As a palate cleanser, it did a great job. I, personally, never found taste in celery, which is the point, I believe…
Smoked pastry cream, rosemary powder, pineapple, and oats.
Victor: I would have been happy with a slightly bigger portion of this as my dessert haha. The flavors were wunderbar!
David: Rosemary seems to always overpower a dish, but this pre-dessert did not make that mistake.
9A. (Victor and David)
Soft Chocolate Ganache
with blood orange, honey-cardamom ice cream, and espresso sponge cake.
David: Again – blood orange. I will have to love this.
Kaffir Lime Semifreddo
Coconut dacquoise, tangerine, and vanilla-poached kumquats.
Victor: This was one of the more interesting desserts I’ve had in recent times. The kaffir lime flavor reminded me of Thai food, and the kumquats gave me something delicious to chew on (more texture—yay!) while I enjoyed the coconut dacquoise, tangerine, and kaffir lime taste.
Monte: With apologies to the two pies I had in the south, this is the best dessert I’ve had all year and it’s not even close. So fresh and light, sweet and tangy, cool and delightful. Bliss.
-Chocolate ganache macarons
-Lychee rose petal pâtes de fruits
Victor: There’s a cassis cookie missing; Monte totally grabbed one before I could take a pic :(!
Monte: The cookie tasted sooo good. It had a texture of a lemon bar with crumbles on top, but with very interesting cassis pictures. I just couldn’t wait, sorry Victor.
David: While people normally lean towards macarons because of their reputation as a dessert, I found the lychee rose to be the most memorable of these.