Bâtard

27 Jan

It seems everywhere I looked, someone was raving about Bâtard.  It took us a few weeks to get a reservation, but we finally managed to squeeze in for a 6pm on a Friday night.

One thing everyone raved about was that you can do a Tasting Menu for $55 (2 courses), $65 (3 courses), or $75 (4 courses).  I love this concept because I love trying as much as possible.  They said they would course the meal depending on what we ordered. Great.

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We started out with warm bread that was fantastic.  The olive roll was incredible and started the meal well.

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We decided to split all our courses.

We started with Braised Artichokes with barley, poached hen’s egg, and eiswein sabayon.  It came with a chili flake on top, and when I asked about it, it was immediately whisked away and very quickly replaced.

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With a non-allergenic version.  And it was awesome.  The sabayon was fantastic and the artichokes were super flavorful.  The chip added nice texture and I enjoyed the barley as a way of sopping up the sauce.

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We also tried the short rib and tafelspitz terrine with smoked egg, german sesame, and apple.

The terrine itself had great flavor and texture, but that little fried piece of meat was heavenly.  The fresh apple complimented the richness well.

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We then tried the sea scallops with carrot fondue, parsnip, and chervil.

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The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the little touch of caviar on the one made it extra special.  The parsnips were caramelized and really flavorful.  The crumble added great texture and flavor (though I still have no idea what it was).

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Our next dish was sweet potato agnolotti with parmesan mousseline, pecan, and peppercress.  These melted in my mouth and had this great balance of sweetness, richness, and a bit of bitter from the greens. I LOVED this dish.

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We then had the branzino with butternut squash, grilled lettuce, and pumpkin seed vinaigrette.  I love branzino and this did not disappoint. Perfect cooked with slightly crispy skin, complimented with all the great squash flavors of the butternut and the pumpkin seed.  The grilled lettuce had a nice char and it came together beautifully.

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There was a special this night with chicken schnitzel (partially on the bone) with potato salad.

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This was very nicely seasoned, with a slight crisp, and I loved the piece on the bone.  The potato salad was mustardy, which Mike loved and I was a bit turned off by, but I could see the appeal.

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For dessert, they had a selection from the menu or a cheese tasting of 3 for $15 (only thing a la carte from the tasting menu).  Mike went with the 3 courses plus the cheese and I chose the 4 courses with dessert.

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Each of the cheeses were very good, and paired with a compliment (apricot, apples, etc)  to make the flavor sing.

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I chose the caramelized milk bread, which I have been seeing pop up on menus a bit more very recently.  This came with blueberries and brown butter ice cream (which had a little bit of salt on top). Awesome dessert.  It was kind of like a french toast but with a beautifully caramelized outside to make it more desserty.  The blue berries were cooked a bit to sweeten them and add some sauce without losing the consistency and flavor, and the brown butter ice cream went very well with everything.

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We were then brought a final tasting with marzipan cookies and truffles filled with black olives. Yes. Black olives.  When I took a bite, I was so confused by what flavor I was tasting, I had to ask.  I was surprised at how enjoyable this was once I found out it was black olives.  I also really loved the marzipan cookies. Delicious.

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From start to finish, we really enjoyed our meal.  I felt like the quality was great with a good amount of innovation, that made me feel like we were getting a lot for our money.  Most tasting menus of this quality in NYC would cost a lot more, but this felt like a big value with a huge payoff in delicious food.

Highly recommended.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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