We had been wanting to try Anissa for a long time. We had watched Anita Lo on television (Top Chef Masters most notably) and she was one of the chefs that made my mouth water every time she presented a dish. We went to Rickshaw Dumpling Bar (her more casual restaurant in NYC) and her dessert soup dumplings were unreal. But her fine dining restaurant, Anissa, was really where I wanted to go. Unfortunately, there was a fire at Anissa a few years ago and it closed down. So when it reopened, it hit the “someday” list. Valentine’s Day weekend 2012 was finally that “someday.”
My first impression was that this place was VERY small. It was intimate without being on top of each other. I’m pretty sure the restaurant seats less than 20 people at a time.
It’s the little things about a restaurant for me, and these perfect butter ribbons were just delightful.
We decided to go with the 7-course chef tasting with the wine pairings.
Our meal started with an amuse bouche of egg salad with cured salmon tartlet. It was a nice bite and the shell was a perfect crisp.
Course one was ceviche of fluke, black lime, and green daikon. It was paired with a Sauvignon Blanc: St. Bris Burgundy, France – 2010.
This tasted perfectly fresh and citrusy. It has a small salty element. Totally delish.
The flavors were so good, in fact, that I tipped my bowl into my spoon while no one was looking… just to get every last drop I could.
Course 3 was a Miso Black Cod with crispy tofu and bonito broth (I think that’s what she said?) This was paired with Wakatake Junmai Sake from Shizuoka, Japan.
There was roe in the broth, which was a nice surprise. The cod was awesome, and potentially the best I have ever had. I’m not a huge fan of tofu, but even that was great. I have no idea what the green things in it were (see photo below) but they added great texture. The tofu itself wasn’t at all crispy, but it was delicious. Almost polenta-like in texture.
Our next course came out, and while I wrote it down, it appears I forgot to take a picture of it (Whoops!) It was grilled arctic char, dill, char mousse, cabbage leaf, and lemon something. It was paired with Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Amiot- Servelle from Burgundy, France 2008. This had multiple elements on the plate, so you could choose how much of each you wanted in each bite, or all of it. Everyone went great together, especially the mix and match of the lemon and dill flavors. The wine also went perfectly with it. Awesome.
Course 5 was grilled wagyu, green garlic, chives, escargot, mushrooms with granache. It came with Bandol- Domaine Le Galantin- Provence, France, 2008. Below the meat there was a piece of brioche that sucked up juices/sauce and made for such a flavorful bite.
Our next course was a cheese course. It came with some great, nutty bread.
And I dove in so fast to the cheese that, again, I forgot to take a picture. But I snagged one at the very end. I took some very short-hand notes: “Chèvre de Argental: sheep, raw cow from Austria, raw cow from Vermont, goat cheese from France, cremesco from Italy, a blue from New York. It was paired with Churchhills White Port- Portugal. White port is sooooo good with cheese.
Course 7 was a coupling of 2 desserts, both of which came with Muscat de Beaumes-de Venise, Rhone, France 2009.
The first dessert was a pecan beignet with butter rum sorbet. The sorbet good but icy. The entire dessert was very messy, but tasted awesome.
The second dessert was a poppy seed cake with Meyer lemon.
It reminded me in flavor of lemon meringue.
At the end, we were served Petit Fours: coconut popsicles, candied ginger, and piece of chocolate.
The popsicles were especially fun and deliciously filled with coconut flavor.
The whole meal was exceptionally well paced with very good service. Every dish was solid. I can’t say there was one that stood out as an awesome dish that topped all other awesome dishes, but the meal as a whole was incredibly good and memorable as a whole. It certainly did not dissapoint. One of the tops of all time.
Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10