I am posting this to encourage other members to share great dining experiences that they have had in the last year (or your last memorable outing, whenever it was). We all work a lot for a little money, so splurging on great food is hard. But I think it is so important, because if the food is the real deal then it reminds us of why we do what we work so hard every day to do.
Last night I had one of the finest meals of my life at Corton (www.cortonnyc.com) in Manhattan (Tribeca). The genius cooking there, chef Paul Liebrandt, has trained under several of the world's most venerated chefs (Raymond Blanc, Pierre Gagnaire, Marco Pierre White) and is quietly raising the bar for food in our country in his modesty sized venue. Without further ado, here is what I ate:
Amuse: Gougeres with bechamel (common, but beautifully executed), Green Almond Financiers, Spring Garlic Croquettes
Amuse 2: Tandoori Spiced Blowfish, Black Garlic, Cucumber, Combava, Flowering Herbs (mind blowing)
For the main plates, there is a main dish, then a small side to accompany it
First Course: Zucchini with glazed marcona almonds, pheasant veloute, sauce gribiche
Side: Zuccini veloute, pheasant consomme and slow cooked yolk, yuzu/fennel marmalade, octopus, bone marrow, squid ink brioche sable, black truffle-this was the single best thing I have eaten in the last 2 years
Second Course: Guinea hen roulade (sous vide with skin on and crisped), tokyo turnips, artichokes barigoule, cucumber fluid gel, parmesan spaghetti, breakfast raddish, guinea hen jus
Side: Ruby red shrimp, ballotine of guinea leg encrusted in pistachio (it was the size of a tootsie roll), herb gnocchi, morels and tarragon beurre monte. Simply stunning.
I know these dishes sound like they have almost too much going on, but the flavors were so perfectly calibrated and melded and the execution was absolutely flawless. It was one of those meals the makes you rethink and reaffirm your choice to be a cook.
I would love to hear about some other great meals had by members of this forum!