Sunday, March 6, 2011
This post is about to break my heart. Wylie Dufresne, of top chef and world fame for his modern cooking- called 'molecular gastronomy'- a weird mash of science and food fiction- did not deliver. Well, not entirely. I was soooo excited to go check this place out- having watched Wylie on TV, and read the NY Times reviews, I knew I was going to have a unique meal. The point, I understood- was to take the ordinary and turn it into something more concentrated and playful... but where did the flavor go? Let me break it down...
The appetizers were by far a highlight- though they took quite some time to arrive. The service was nice, but slow. And we skipped the drinks, as the prices were really stiff.
Ry started off with aerated foie groie with pickled beets and a currant jelly- he declared the beets the best part of the plate, and I agree. They tasted pretty much like... beets. The foie was rich, and came in a sizeable portion. It was good, and 'interesting', says Ryan, though I doubt he would get it again.
I had the famous Eggs Benedict- though mine were technically florentine, since I skipped the bacon and substituted spinach. I must say, this was the highlight that it has been made out to be in so many articles- read this one from the NY times for a run down of the technical process and revelation in form that this dish is: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/dining/reviews/05rest.html
In short, it is pretty amazing. The yolks are turned into a gel- reminding me of the texture of the custard part of a lemon meringue pie- and the deep friend hollandaise was.... well, mind blowing. This dish was definitely pretty awesome, and when the bites mixed together- really exquisite.
For my entree, I had the vegetarian special- a forgettable and bland quinoa-based dish that was super disappointing. It did not do justice to the turnip or other veggies on the plate, and the portion seemed insubstantial. Even the baby bok choy was uninspired. It was dry, and lacked really any flavor.
Ryan had a coconut fish dish that tasted more like hand lotion and also had muted, bland flavors. I felt urges to reach for the salt like never before, and I just couldn't believe this was the guy everybody raves about!!
The best bites of my meal by far were the eggs benedict appetizer and the tiny complimentary dessert of an amazing freeze-dried ice cream rice krispy treat, which was heaven.
All in all, we left shaking our heads, wondering if it was just a mismatch of flavor palates- we like savory, earthy foods- or truly a disappointing meal. I don't know if I can say for sure, but I definitely left feeling let down, hungry, and unsatisfied.