NYC: Degustation for New Year's Eve DinnerFriday, January 2, 2015
Happy New Year! Hope you had a chance to ring in the New Year with the ones you love.
I can't think of a single thing that I've eaten in 2014 that deserves to be on the first edition of Foodie Friday more than this amazing Seared Foie Gras and Cauliflower Ice Cream dessert at Degustation. It's truly something special.
Degustation is a open-counter concept in East Village that serves a fusion of Iberian (Spanish), French and American cuisine. It's been on the top of my list of places to try, so when we found out they offered a special tasting menu on New Year's Eve, we had to score a reservation.
(Not partying for New Year's Eve? I'm really starting to show my age right? Hehe.)
There was a mandatory 8-course tasting menu on New Year's Eve ($120), but normally you can either choose to order a la carte, or their 7 course tasting menu ($80). The dinner started out a little bit rocky but really picked up after the second course for me.
|East Coast Oyster with Hackleback Caviar|
|Cured Spanish Ham and Pimenton Butter on Foccaccia|
|Burrata with Chives, Puffed Quinoa and Chinese Oregano|
|Brussels Sprouts with Lobster, Cashews, Aged Apple Vinegar topped with Crushed Funyons|
|Maine Diver Scallop with Thai Red Curry, Cracked Potatoes, Citron|
|Ricotta Agnolotti with Uni, Crisp Sage and a Riesling Froth|
|Beef with Celery Root Puree, Roasted Sunchokes and Chestnuts|
|Roasted Foie Gras with Cauliflower Ice Cream, Marcona Almonds and Nasturtium|
The feeling I got eating this dish was confused happiness. The seared hot fatty foie gras played off the cold and creamy ice cream beautifully. You don't see meat on dessert everyday, but the foie gras really works since it's so rich. The shaved almonds on the dish helped coat the ice cream so that it wasn't always icy cold next to the hot foie gras. It was pure bliss at every bite.
|Spanish Torrija made with Goat's Milk Dulce de Leche and Sea Salt|
Degustation is definitely one of the lesser talked about restaurants in NYC, but after our dining experience here, it's one that I will definitely tell more people about. Well, it did make it on this Business Insider's list of "Top Food Critics Say These Are The 20 Best Restaurants In America" for a reason.
Besides the delicious innovative dishes here, the staff here was also great and welcoming. Jack, our sommelier helped solidify our overall positive experience. While helping us pick through their wine list, he recommended the Semillion-Sauvignon Blanc from Stratus 2009 that we really liked. It was a blend of whites that really left an impression with us - so much that we're seeking it out and buying more bottles! I've never seen anyone work to decant a bottle of white as he did, but he explained that the younger wines are the ones who really needs decanting to open up some of the flavors.
He took his job seriously, but in a non-douchey way. He really made our experience as we chatted through the night. Edit: after some quick internet stalking from my friend Taurin, turns out Jack Lamb is the restauranteur who opened Degustation. Seriously, we just loved him and his crazy hair.
All in all, Chef Nicholas Licata and his team put out an amazing dinner for us for New Year's Eve. Dining here really gave us even more appreciation for how hard chefs have to work (working through all holiday evenings while enjoying themselves for putting out great food...). The open kitchen concept made it even more enjoyable for a "foodie" evening out to celebrate.
Definitely put Degustation on a top list of places to enjoy with a small group of friends or on a date night for food lovers!