Colicchio and Sons: Tasting Menu + Wine Pairing

11 Mar

Mike and I perused our Grubbit List in search of where Valentine’s Day (well… weekend) would take us this year.  We continued the tradition of totally splurging on food for special occasions (rather than expensive gifts).  We decided on Colicchio & Sons as we have been watching Chef Tom for years on Top Chef he was a 2010 James Beard Outstanding Chef.

Our reservation was for 6pm, and when we arrived at 5:45pm, we were informed that the dining room didn’t open until 6 and were invited to take a seat at the bar.  It wasn’t that full, however, it took a good amount of time to get a drink.  This was really the only misstep of the evening.

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We were the first seated and I was impressed by the expansive space, including a huge glass wine bar separating the dining room from the more casual Tap Room.

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The space appeared to be all about the vertical lines and columns.  Reaching up into space.  Even the candles were designed with this aesthetic.

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The back of the restaurant had a huge mural on the wall. We’re pretty sure it’s supposed to be the Highline, but we could be mistaken.

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(Enough about the decor… what about the food?!)

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The menu had many enticing options.

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And I was very tempted by the roasted pork with crispy brussels sprouts.

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But we decided to go whole hog and get the full tasting menu… WITH the wine pairings.  OH BOY.  (They had a VERY heavy pour on the wine pairings… it was about 3/4 of a glass each time… times 8 courses and I can’t remember the cab ride home… WHOOPS!)

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We were soon greeted with the most fluffy, buttery, warm rolls.  They were in a little skillet pan and topped with sea salt.  Before we knew it… they had vanished.  But another tray replaced it almost as fast as the first one disappeared.  The butter with it was surprisingly bland, but it was the perfect temperature.  And the buttery rolls more than made up for it.

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First up was the cauliflower panna cotta with nantucket bay scallops & black truffle.

(Wine: Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 2008.  Very nice on its own.  Even better in combination with the earthy truffle flavors).

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The crunch and sweetness of the apple on top was a nice add on, and I liked the layering of the cauliflower on the bottom.  This dish was a perfect mash of flavors.

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Our next dish is probably the most amazing thing I have ever eaten in my life.  And I have eaten some AMAZING things!  I couldn’t believe how good this was, especially after the description of duck egg, confit gizzard, & parsnip.  There were rich, savory notes with sweet, creamy texture and the crisps on top.  Holy crap this was good.

(Wine: Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris 2008.  I was in love at first sip.  I will be ordering a case of this.  It had a very honey flavor and was absolutely perfect with the dish)

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I wish licking the plate was not so frowned upon at restaurants…. so I went with the next best idea.

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Next up was Hawaiian blue prawns with pork ballotine and artichoke salad.  The prawn was sensational.  Full of flavor.  Mike even called it “the best prawn EVER!”  I’m not quite sure where the artichoke part came in, but I still very much enjoyed it.

(Wine: Lopez De Heredia Rioja Blanco Crianza Vina Gravonia 2001.)

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Pancetta wrapped monkfish with black truffle and beets was served next.  I love monkfish, as I think it tastes a lot like lobster, and the beets and pancetta were a great foil for this.

It was around this time that Mike mentioned that we had not needed salt yet.  Impressive for salt lovers like us!

(Wine: Jean Grivot Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Aux Bourdots 2007)

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Next up was red quail with canterelles, bok choy, and licorice jus.  I was nervous about the licorice, as I’m usually not a fan, but this really came together.  There was a nice helping of quail (unusual) and the chanterelles were plentiful.

(Wine: Bodegas La Cartuja Priorat 2009.  It was very aromatic and perfect with the quail)

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The roasted wagyu sirloin was served with a bone marrow beignet (a bone marrow beignet!), salsify & truffle syrup.  The steak was perfectly cooked with char and the little crunchies on top were delish.  The bone marrow beignet was a fried mush of deliciousness that just exploded in your mouth.  More please!

(Wine: Paverno Vaona Amarone Della Valpolicella 2006)

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I was not familiar with salsify, besides that it was a vegetable, and I still can’t say I know what it tastes like.  But it created a lovely pillow for the perfectly cooked steak.

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I was actually bummed when the food was over and dessert was coming.  Dinner was such a satisfying set of dishes that I was scared dessert wouldn’t be as good.  Luckily, I was wrong.

The vanilla creme fraiche panna cotta with citrus, Prosecco grapefruit, and persimmon sorbet was PERFECT.  I thought this would be bland, but it was complex and had great flavors without being at all overpowering.  A great dish to serve after the steak.

(Wine: They replaced the wine originally listed with a Moscato d’Asti Cal Du Sindic 2009.  I was THRILLED as the original list was champagne and I’m not a fan.  This was DELICIOUS and perfectly sweet without being too much.)

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Last up was a chocolate souffle with a milk chocolate-earl grey parfait and cinnamon custard, candied cashews, & milk chocolate ice cream.  Honestly, the souffle was sadly a bit overcooked, but the flavors were delicious.  I also think it was hazelnuts instead of cashews, but who’s counting?  All the little pieces around it were VERY good, but I honestly did prefer the panna cotta.  According to my notes, in the picture below, the milk chocolate earl grey parfait is on the bottom, the cinnamon custard is on top, and the chocolate ice cream is in the middle.

(Wine: Broadbent Malmsey 20 Year Maderia… which I think was a port… but like I said… fuzzy)

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As I love at the end of the meal, they brought us out some petit fours.  These were shortbread with berry and dark chocolate filled with something something something and something something something.  Yeah… the 3/4 pours of wine with each dish make my brain as fuzzy as this picture.

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But I do remember thinking that the texture in this filling was perfect enough to take a (blurry) picture of.

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Then came something that put this dining experience over the edge… they sent us home with muffins for the morning!  How adorable.  And OMG were these good (and I don’t use an awful phrase like “OMG” lightly people).  I was hurtin’ when I woke up the next day after all that wine, and these muffins were like a little piece of heaven.

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Overall, Colicchio and Sons was one of the best meals I have EVER had.  Mike and I ranked it as number 2 on the list of all-time favorites (narrowly beating out Bottega (in Napa), Momofuku Ko, and Le Bernadin, while falling JUST short of WD-50 (since that was such a unique dining adventure).  I’m sure the healthy pours of the sensational wine helped lubricate my love for this place, but I thought it was absolutely sensational.  Not a single bad dish in the tasting and some that were SENSATIONAL.  I think the duck egg, confit gizzard, & parsnip dish alone deserves 10 Nom Points.

Total Nom Points: 9 out of 10


8 Responses to “Colicchio and Sons: Tasting Menu + Wine Pairing”

  1. Jenn from Much to My Delight March 12, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Oh my gawd!!! What an amazing and unique array of dishes! That is a total splurge, but like you, my boyfriend and I do like to try top restaurants on birthdays. This might be the top choice for mine! I have never seen anything so gracious as to send restaurant patrons home with muffins in the morning. Above and beyond.

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