Tag Archives: terrine


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


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


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.


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.



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


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.


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.



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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Restaurant Week Summer 2013: Ai Fiori

28 Jul

Next up on the Honeymoon adventure queue is French Laundry, but before we get to that, it is currently Restaurant Week in New York!  We try to go to at least 3 new restaurants each Restaurant Week season (Winter and Summer) and here is the summary and links to all the places we have visited so far and the blog roll of all the individual reviews.

One place I hadn’t intended on going to was Ai Fiori, but when a friend pinged me during lunch time and asked if I had any plans, how could I say no to revisiting one of our favorite Michael White restaurants? Especially to try their Restaurant Week menu.

We both commented on the absolutely stunning orchids on all the tables.


We decided to do one order on the Restaurant Week menu ($25 for a 3-course menu) and one off the regular menu ($42 for 2 courses).

First, off the regular menu, we tried the Crudo di Passera: fluke crudo, american sturgeon caviar, meyer lemon.

This was a stunning dish. Fresh flavors with the caviar bursting in your mouth, brightness from the lemon, and fluke that tasted like the sea.  Brilliant.


Off the Restaurant Week menu, we tried the Country Terrine: housemade pâté, frisée, mustard, cornichons.  This was so so.


I was surprised that it was, if anything, kind of bland.  Even the pistachios in the terrine were bland.  Disappointing, especially for how good everything else we have had there has been.


From the regular menu (bottom of the Restaurant Week menu), we tried the Agnolotti: braised veal parcels,squash purée, sunflower seeds, black truffle sugo.

Only now looking back our my previous review do I realize it’s exactly what I ordered (and enjoyed) last time. The sunflower seeds added a nice crunch to the flavor packed and rich agnolotti.  The sauce was awesome and we enjoyed sweeping our bread through it to lap up every bit.


The Restaurant Week entree selection was the Razza: pan roasted skate wing, zucchini, artichoke purée, blistered cherry tomatoes


I REALLY enjoyed this dish.  Skate is something I only recently tried and I am constantly impressed with how it is like a fish but tastes like shellfish.  It’s like a lobster flavored fish filet.  This was an ever so slightly crispy wing with tons of flavor.  The vegetables were perfectly cooked and nicely sweet.  A simple presentation of a really bright and fresh dish.


For dessert, we split the Restaurant Week selection and went with the Crostata diCioccolato: dark chocolate mousse, olive oil gelato.  The mousse was very good but the olive oil gelato was extra special.  Great flavor that created a lovely foil for the chocolate mousse.  This wasn’t too rich but had a lot of nice textures going on with the mousse top, soft base, crunchy chocolate under the gelato, and a crumble of what appeared to be nougat.  A very nice dessert that didn’t weigh me down at lunch time.


A lot of times when I go out to a nice weekday lunch I feel as though my afternoon work performance is certainly subpar.  It was not so after this lunch, with a good amount of food that left me satiated without being overfull.  The skate was really a highlight for me and made the so-so terrine worthwhile for Restaurant Week.  I would certainly recommend, but definitely swap out the terrine for one of the other options.

And the regular menu, as before, was excellent all over.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10


Saxon + Parole: Just a nibble

10 Jan

I met Chef Bill for a quick catch up about opening his new restaurant, The Keys, over drinks and nibbles at Saxon + Parole.  He wanted to go there due to their focus on fresh ingredients and molecular gastronomy inspired cocktails.

We each got a very, very good cocktail and decided to order some charcuterie. We went with the “A bit of everything”: Cured pork, chicken liver pot, terrine, cheese, olives & pickles for $29.  This was sensational.  Absolutely sensational.

The chicken liver pot may have been the best I have ever had. The rich liver was perfectly cut with a sweet and salty top.  Fantastic. And each meat and cheese was a perfect pick.  I really, really enjoyed this plate.

Import December 2012 iPhone 603

I really look forward to going back and trying more soon!