New York

USA- 11 Madison Park- ✪✪✪

Certainly the restaurant whose staff was working the hardest among my New York visit restaurants, 11 Madison Park stood out as the group who were hustling the hardest to provide an outstanding three-star experience. 

11 Madison Park Main Dining Room

11 Madison Park Main Dining Room

NEW YORK, NY, USA

SERVICE: 10.0/10

FOOD: 9.0/10

PRICE PAID: $218 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)

VALUE/MONEY: 9.5/10

FINAL SCORE: 9.5/10 

If you want to see what truly world-class dining service looks like, you need go no further. 11 Madison Park gave me an amazing team of people- Jane, Aurora, Ellen, and Megan- who worked together professionally and flawlessly to create an unforgettable experience. 11 Madison Park achieved my highest score so far, 9.5/10.

First Bites: Black + White Cookie, 8/10

First Bites: Black + White Cookie, 8/10

The first entrant is a small gift-box when I was seated at my table. A cookie with black and white colors, apple-flavored and sweet. It was crunchy, simple, and pretty. 8/10.

Course 1: Woods Hole Oysters, 9/10

Course 1: Woods Hole Oysters, 9/10

Two oysters- the one on the left prepared with "apple snow," the one on the right warm with chestnut. The rocks under the right-hand side were warm to the touch, and ice sat under the left. Very cool presentation, and excellent fresh oysters. 9/10.

Course 2A: Sturgeon

Course 2A: Sturgeon

Course 2B: Caviar

Course 2B: Caviar

Course 2: All together

Course 2: All together

This is where things really began to take off- an awesome, creative presentation that arrived in a smoke-filled cover. Included was a small can of Malossol caviar, some thin baked breads, cream cheese, and pickled beets. A smorgasbord to begin with. The sturgeon was fantastic (and, incredibly smoky, as you might guess) and the caviar was excellent. 8/10.

Course 3: Turnips + Juniper, 8/10

Course 3: Turnips + Juniper, 8/10

Course 3 Post-Broth

Course 3 Post-Broth

A simple presentation of turnips in a turnip and juniper broth- the dish had a delicious vinegar zing to it and some really awesome colors. The broth reminded me of whisky and the bowl was the perfect selection to pair up with the dish. 8/10.

Duck Fat + Sea Salt Butters, 9/10

Duck Fat + Sea Salt Butters, 9/10

Another cool presentation of two butters contrasted against each other, 11 Madison Park had plain (on the left) against the same butter rendered in duck fat (on the right). The duck-fat butter was smoky and delightful, and the sea salt is from a husband-and-wife team on the Narragansett- pure, rich, and the perfect match to either of the creamy butters. 9/10.

Course 4: Cabbage + Foie Gras, 9/10

Course 4: Cabbage + Foie Gras, 9/10

A perfectly bizarre, natural pairing of colors and flavors- the bitter of the cabbage complimented the sweet richness of the Hudson Valley foie gras. The cabbage is cooked and marinated with the foie, and presented on a plain ceramic dish to showcase the colors perfectly. 9/10.

Course 5: Kitchen Tour + Pastrami + Celery Soda, 10/10

Course 5: Kitchen Tour + Pastrami + Celery Soda, 10/10

This was one of the coolest things that has happened in my adventure so far. I was invited for a kitchen tour mid-meal, and as I arrived back in the kitchen I was greeted with a set table that included a hand-made pastrami sandwich, and a bottle of celery soda modeled on Cel-Ray, a favorite of delis in New York.

Course 6: Lobster Newburg, 10/10

Course 6: Lobster Newburg, 10/10

Course 6, with fire

Course 6, with fire

Another dish big on showmanship- Lobster Newburg, prepared tableside with mushrooms. While preparing my meal, I was told the entire story of how Lobster Newburg came to be at Delmonico in New York. The story was fascinating, the preparation was a delight, and the dish itself was fantastic. 10/10.

Course 6, Post-Fire Show

Course 6, Post-Fire Show

Course 7: Celery Root + Black Truffle, 9/10

Course 7: Celery Root + Black Truffle, 9/10

Next came a celery root cooked inside a pigs bladder. Entertainingly but a bit strangely, one of the chefs brought the pigs bladder by my table as the root was cooking inside. I thought this show-and-tell was yet another example of the confident, over-the-top service style here, and I learned something about how these dishes are prepared. 9/10.

Course 8: Duck, 10/10

Course 8: Duck, 10/10

The duck- once again, carved tableside- has been aged in a bristling layer of spices for almost two weeks before being served. The effect was truly incredible- the spices soak deep into the flesh and give the duck a far most complex flavor than any I have ever tasted. 10/10.

Course 9A: Squash, 9/10

Course 9A: Squash, 9/10

Course 9B: Salad, 9/10

Course 9B: Salad, 9/10

An excellent wind-down from the heavy main courses beforehand, the Carnival Squash is roasted with cheese, and prepared with a small, fresh salad. A bit filling for so far along in the meal, but a welcome break from the mains and an original take on the cheese course. 9/10.

 

Course 10: Botrytis + Sorbet, 9/10

Course 10: Botrytis + Sorbet, 9/10

This next dish was curious... White wine purposely infected with Botrytis, a fungus that is normally a threat to agriculture that in this case is sought after for its pleasant taste. Also known as noble rot, it gives wines an even-sweeter taste. I certainly found that to be true of this dish, and thought that the bitter almond sorbet was an excellent pair. 9/10.

Course 11: Maple Ice Cream, 9/10

Course 11: Maple Ice Cream, 9/10

A fun, sweet prsentation of Maple ice cream, bourbon-barrel aged and with dry ice. 9/10.

Final Bites: Chocolate-Covered Pretzel, 9/10

Final Bites: Chocolate-Covered Pretzel, 9/10

Last but certainly not least, a chocolate-covered pretzel served alongside a sweet version of the greeting cookie. Charming, and rounded the night out nicely. 9/10.

 

I also want to mention that in addition to providing truly incredible service the entire night, the staff got word of my round-the-world adventure and put together a parting gift that included snacks and even a neck pillow. I can't tell you how touched I was by the hard work these people put into making my night special, and I will remember it forever.

USA- Jean-Georges- ✪✪✪

NEW YORK, NY, USA

SERVICE: 7.0/10

FOOD: 8.5/10

PRICE PAID: $140 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)

VALUE/MONEY: 7.0/10

FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10

As the United Airlines half-marathon ran in the background, I enjoyed lunch at the famous Jean-Georges restaurant in the Trump Tower. One of Jean-Georges Vongerichtgen's anchor properties in the United States, Jean-Georges has a serene, open feel that seems a bit out of place next to the classless, gaudy polished bronze lobby of the Trump building. Vongerichten himself has been an understudy to many of the most successful names in fine dining- Paul Bocuse, Paul Haeberlin at L'Auberge de L'Ill, among others. 

First Bites: Scottish Salmon Carpaccio, 9/10

First Bites: Scottish Salmon Carpaccio, 9/10

The first bite of the afternoon was super creative and paired well. A tiny tower of Scottish salmon with a roasted Cremini mushroom. The mushroom was firm and not overly salted, and the Salmon was perfectly fresh, tangy, and stuffed with delicious herbs. 9/10.

Course 1: Caesar Salad, 9/10

Course 1: Caesar Salad, 9/10

Topped with a healthy ration of black truffle, the caesar salad was a cool and original take on the dish that left me impressed. The dressing was exceptionally rich, and the long leaves required a knife to cut. They practically snapped with freshness, and the dish worked really well overall. 9/10,

Course 2: Parsnip Soup, 10/10

Course 2: Parsnip Soup, 10/10

The parsnip soup was an extremely interesting combo- the foam on the right is coconut milk, and the froth on the left is lime and elderflower with a shaving of herbs overtop. The sweet of the lime and coconut did wonders for the starchy parsnips. 10/10.

Course 3: Suckling Pig, 6/10

Course 3: Suckling Pig, 6/10

The biggest disappointment of the meal, by far- an enormous, rather dry slab of pork in a very autumnal squash-based pudding with some distracting shoots sprinkled about. The central story of the dish didn't make any sense the way it was prepared, but the aesthetics were quite lovely. 6/10.

Course 4: Citrus, 9/10

Course 4: Citrus, 9/10

The citrus dessert was a real high point- seared chunk of grapefruit on top of shaved grapefruit ice, and a slice of lemon cheesecake with fruit toppings. An absolute delight, 9/10.

Last Bites: Petit Fours, 7/10

Last Bites: Petit Fours, 7/10

The petit fours were delightful, but nothing terribly special. A Pâte de fruit, a handful of chocolates, and a macaron. Pretty standard fare. 7/10.

USA- Masa- ✪✪✪

NEW YORK, NY, USA

SERVICE: 9.0/10

FOOD: 9.0/10

PRICE PAID: $390 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)

VALUE/MONEY: 6.0/10

FINAL SCORE: 8.0/10

On a busy Saturday night, I visited Masayoshi Takayama's self-named restaurant, Masa. It has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive sushi restaurant in the US, and some call it the best. It is the only sushi restaurant stateside to have earned three Michelin stars, and Masa demonstrates the same traditional focus on ingredient quality and execution that earns the best rankings in Japan. 

Masa grew up working in his family's fish market stall in Tochigi Prefecture, delivering fresh sashimi to neighbors and customers on his bike. His lifetime of experience with seafood gives him a unique perspective to offer US customers a taste of the highest-quality sushi in the world. Masa began his life in the US with another highly traditional restaurant in Los Angeles that focused on providing an authentic experience for Japanese expats. He eventually got a zealous local following, including Marlon Brando.

Though he doesn't allow photos in his restaurant, I can do my best to describe the experience. Here's a pro tip: when making the reservation, request to be served by Masa himself. It doesn't cost any extra, and as long as you're polite and are making the reservation far enough in advance they'll usually accept. Requesting this honor gave me a seat front-and-center at the blond wood sushi bar. A huge yellow, blooming tree served as a backdrop to his work. The space is calm, relaxing, quiet, and focused. Watching the man himself work was a real treat- he is in complete control of the space and the kitchen. When he needed new ingredients- wasabi, let's say- he would mutter "wasabi" quietly under his breath and the whole kitchen would respond in an outdoor voice: "wasabi!" Within fifteen seconds, someone would bring him fresh ingredients. Subtle and impressive to watch.

The meal began with a few small amuse-bouche and appetizers served by the backup kitchen staff. First was a vegetable and mustard-y dish with a bright, spicy zing. Next was a small leafy green salad with fish, and of remarkable note was a whole cooked sea urchin served in its spiny shell that has the exact consistency and taste of cheddar mac and cheese (9/10). 

The night's menu depends on which fish the chef has flown in from Tsu-Jiki market or been able to find in New York, but on the night in question I enjoyed:

  • Japanese Mackerel- 9/10
  • Fluke- 9/10
  • Squid, with the skin delicately removed by hand- 10/10
  • Sweet Shrimp- 10/10
  • Cooked Sea Eel- 8/10
  • Uni (Sea Urchin) that tasted almost like liquid butter- 10/10
  • Cooked Shiitake Mushroom, fresh from the grill- 9/10
  • Red Clam- 8/10
  • Fatty Tuna- 10/10
  • Vegetable and Shiso- 9/10

For dessert, Masa served a fruit and ice mixture with some soothing tea. Overall an extremely traditional presentation, and the coolest part was- as soon as he was done serving my meal, Masa excused himself to go to his other restaurant across town. An incredibly special evening.

USA- Per Se- ✪✪✪

NEW YORK, NY, USA

SERVICE: 9.0/10

FOOD: 8.0/10

PRICE PAID: $298 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)

VALUE/MONEY: 7.0/10

FINAL SCORE: 8.0/10

View of Columbus Circle 

View of Columbus Circle 

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 7.58.39 PM.png

On a chilly weekend afternoon right around the Ides of March, I visited Thomas Keller's East Coast flagship restaurant, Per Se. Eli Kaimeh runs this branch on Keller's behalf, and has for more than a decade.

Located right on Columbus Circle (and, coincidentally, literally across the hall from my other visit to Masa), the New York Times called this the best restaurant in New York City

As I was visiting six restaurants in a single weekend, I needed to make choices to optimize the experience. Something that makes Per Se special is that they serve the same menu for lunch and dinner, giving me access to the full tasting early in the day (so I'd have enough time to walk it off by dinner). Per Se offers an 11-course menu with a few optional upgrades, and you can reduce the number of courses for a few dollars less. Interesting, flexible menu concept.

Per Se Main Entrance

Per Se Main Entrance

Walking into Per Se felt a little like walking into a really nice Spa. Calm atmosphere, lots of stone and... at the top of four flights of escalators in a mall. A nice mall, mind you. But, an enormous mall in the middle of Manhattan. I was greeted by a whole fleet of smiling, impeccably prepared staff members and then showed to my table. 

Keller's Custom Champagne

Keller's Custom Champagne

One of the best parts about being a huge screaming deal in the culinary industry is that you get to do things like have vineyards make custom Extra Brut champagne for you. In this particular case, Thomas Keller has his own version of Schramsberg that they pour in all his major restaurants- the Laundry, Bouchon, etc. Interestingly, Schramsberg is the champagne they serve in the White House- a tradition Nixon started many decades ago. It was fresh and crisp and fruity like most good Blanc de Blancs champagnes, and thrown in with the meal it was a welcome complimentary treat.

First Bites: Gougere Cheese Puffs, 7/10

First Bites: Gougere Cheese Puffs, 7/10

Have you ever had cheesy puffs? Imagine those, except made by a three-star chef. Mostly butter, but crunchy and pretty good. 7/10.

Course 1: Scottish Salmon Cone, 8/10

Course 1: Scottish Salmon Cone, 8/10

This dish wins points for the super fun and original presentation. The "cone" is a crunchy baked tuile with a hand-folded napkin all around. Soft fresh salmon with a light grazing of herbs make this a pretty excellent kickoff. 8/10.

Course 2: "Oysters + Pearls," 10/10

Course 2: "Oysters + Pearls," 10/10

This dish is a Keller favorite, and a real crowd-pleaser. Two oysters with caviar and a nice starchy base. The smooth, even sauce had a neutral flavor that really brings out the caviar. An absolutely perfect melody of textures and tastes. 10/10.

Course 3: Egg Custard, 10/10

Course 3: Egg Custard, 10/10

At this point in the meal, I started to get excited that this experience might approach a "best meal ever" status with two amazing courses right in a row. This dish is also a fixture at the French Laundry- a precision-cut hen's egg with a baked cracker stuck into the (extremely, extremely rich) custard made from the egg itself inside. 10/10.

Parker House Rolls

Parker House Rolls

The Michelin-Shaped Salt Star

The Michelin-Shaped Salt Star

Two Parker House rolls (a recipe created by a Boston Hotel in the nineteenth century, and mostly butter) were presented with two additional butters- one from an East-Coast creamery, the other from the West Coast. It was fascinating to observe the subtle taste differences between the two- the West Coast butter had a sharp, pronounced flavor while the East Coast butter was soft, creamy, and served as a great base for the six salts offered in a Michelin-Star shaped bowl. While each of the salts were interesting, my server Eric explained that the Malden salt exploded with such flavor because it had a unique pyramid-shaped structure that gave it more surface area. I was spoiled for choice and really enjoyed this part of the meal. 9/10.

Course 4: Foie Gras, 6/10

Course 4: Foie Gras, 6/10

This next course is where things went from rich to unbelievably super-rich. A hockey-puck sized torchon of foie gras was served with a banana covered in green onion, peanuts, flowers, and chocolate sauce. While this was certainly a tasty combo, after the richness of the previous few dishes it was totally overwhelming. Along with being an enormous slice of foie gras, the salt and fat was seriously overpowering. It took me almost 15 minutes to get through. 6/10.

Course 5: Turbot, 8/10

Course 5: Turbot, 8/10

This next dish of turbot was succulent and perfectly cooked. Small coins of potato/starch played off nicely against the mouthfeel of the fish. There was a clean, crisp zing from the radishes flown in from Keller's vertically-integrated garden on the West Coast. The chips were a bit much, but otherwise a thoughtfully-constructed dish. 8/10.

Course 6: Scallops, 7/10

Course 6: Scallops, 7/10

Getting into the last of the seafood dishes, the scallops were served blue foot mushrooms that were crunchy and matched the texture of the scallops. The scallops themselves were heavily salted on one side, so much that I had to scrape some off. 7/10.

Course 7: Pollard, 7/10

Course 7: Pollard, 7/10

So much salt. See those large white crystals? All salt. Too much salt. Please stop with the salt. 7/10.

Course 8: Beef, 9/10

Course 8: Beef, 9/10

Hearty, well-paired, traditional, and delicious. Everything you'd expect from a Thomas Keller main dish. 9/10.

Course 9: Pork Belly, 8/10

Course 9: Pork Belly, 8/10

A pungent, thick cheese was paired up with three small cubes of pork belly. A powerful dish, and an interesting conclusion to the mains. 8/10.

Course 10: Pâte de Fruits 8/10

Course 10: Pâte de Fruits 8/10

A fascinating pairing of sweet fruits and savory spices- Thanksgiving-like, with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. The effect was quite delicious. 8/10.

Course 11: Crème Brûlée Ice Cream, 9/10

Course 11: Crème Brûlée Ice Cream, 9/10

An awesome take on a classic everyone loves- crunchy crème brûlée topping on crème brûlée ice cream. and all on a butter cracker. Creative, interesting, stunningly great flavor. 9/10.

Course 12: Chocolate + Pretzel, 8/10

Course 12: Chocolate + Pretzel, 8/10

A rounded bar of dark chocolate with crispy salted bread on top. A delightful little dish. 8/10.

Course 13: Choice of Chocolates, 7/10

Course 13: Choice of Chocolates, 7/10

As we approached the close of the meal, I was offered a huge selection hand-made chocolates from a local purveyor. I chose ones that ended up tasting exactly like peanut butter & jelly, and white chocolate. 7/10. 

Course 14: Medjool Dates, 7/10

Course 14: Medjool Dates, 7/10

A delicious (and finally non-rich) dessert. Very tasty Medjool dates. But, you know, they were just dates. 7/10.

Course 15: "Coffee + Donuts," 10/10

Course 15: "Coffee + Donuts," 10/10

Another Keller standby- this one is also served at the French Laundry if you ask for it (no charge). The "coffee" is actually a coffee-flavored ice cream with a heavy layer of cream foam on top. The donut is fresh, hand-made, with a light coating of brown sugar. They pair up nicely, and the overall effect is totally amazing. 10/10, a great finish to the meal.

Last Bites: Macarons + Candies + Cupcakes, 9/10

Last Bites: Macarons + Candies + Cupcakes, 9/10

A pretty standard collection of macarons, small candies, cupcakes, etc. You leave with the sense that there's no way you could be hungry afterwards. They even packed up a small bag of take-home treats that I got to bring with me. An extremely complete experience overall!

USA- Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare- ✪✪✪

NEW YORK, NY, USA

SERVICE: 4.0/10

FOOD: 8.0/10

PRICE PAID: $275 (pre-challenge)

VALUE/MONEY: 5.0/10

FINAL SCORE: 5.0/10

I'll start this review with three of the English language's most lethally condescending words:

In Their Defense...

The Chef's Table is an extremely unique physical space. I'd like you to imagine what fine dining on a submarine might look like, and your first draft of that idea is actually just perfect. Imagine how people might move, how they might bump and sidle around each other, how they might squeeze themselves into seats and bulkheads. Now, in your imagination, also cram in a bulky Molteni stove and about 1,500 pounds of copper cookware, and you're closer.

You enter a cramped portal where a dosey-do must occur between you and the host in order to remove your jacket. Special note- try to go in the summer, or wear your least awkward coat. After removing said coat, you'll glance up to notice that no matter how many patrons, chefs, and staff members occupy the space, they are all now making direct, intimate eye contact with you. From the moment you walk in to the 6x6x6-seat "Chef's Table" area, you have the feeling that you've now entered the flight deck. Or, like I said, a submarine.

César Ramirez, a wunderkind chef who has gotten the culinary world's attention as much for his restaurant's business model as his dishes, worked his way up from a cult dining establishment to a full three Michelin stars in only a few years. He's gotten rave reviews from the Times and many others. I'll admit to having higher expectations here than most of the other restaurants I have visited.

Of special note to bloggers, writers, or others seeking to memorialize their special private dining experience - you may not. Being the obstinate fool that I am, I failed to read down to the seventh paragraph of my email confirmation, which clearly stated:

I should have known this would be trouble...

I should have known this would be trouble...

In Their Defense, I should point out that I'm thrilled with restaurants that take a strong stance on building their guests' experiences. Over the moon, in fact, in a world of social media and (hey, the exact space this blog occupies) exploitive food photography (I shudder to say food porn). I'd like to think that there's a difference, though, between classily asking customers to refrain from photos and angrily hissing to remove my camera and notepad from the table space. An extremely awkward first interaction with the person occupying the center of that 6x6x6 space turned out to be a bad omen for the rest of the meal. He also turned out to be the waiter/runner/expo, and the only wait staff I would speak to all night besides a clueless, silly sommelier with a full page of $2,000 Romanée Conti bottles on offer. Absurd, by the way. 

I'll do my best to summarize some high points. Early courses were smallish dishes of seafood lightly prepared- Japanese big eye tuna with shiso, with a bright, shiny, herbaceous flavor. Japanese anchovies, fried fish with wasabi that had a killer kick, and then the crown jewel of the evening, by a long shot. Cooked sea urchin on a small square of toast, which tasted like pure liquid buttery goodness. The product was fresh, and had been prepared only seconds before I ate it, and it was absolutely perfect. 

The best course was, however, also an embodiment of the worst parts of the experience- that waiter/runner/expo I told you about (you'll remember, because it will be the only person you speak to) saw his role as that of some kind of perverse announcer. He would scurry back and forth in his small stainless steel pen, bringing two dishes at a time from the kitchen to the diners. He would pause with care, and place the dishes in front of his customers. Then, with a flair, he would look up with intensity, and with just the right amount of effete accent, say: "Sea Urchin. Prepared On Toast." Hold that eye contact an extra second, and then he'd vanish back across the pen to the kitchen to make a similarly dramatic pronouncement to the two people sitting less then three feet away, who had very much already heard him. It was really weird to watch this happen many times in a row for each course.

The second half of the meal was notable and fun- lamb with white asparagus that was perfectly salted and minted, shiso sorbet and milk chocolate foam that melts away as you eat for dessert, Meyer lemon and chocolate cookies. But, I never really got over how forced the behaviors were, how unpleasant this stilted environment was. As we shoved our way down the narrow hall, the second seating's guests were roughly jostling inside and throwing off their coats, I felt a wave of relief wash over me with the chilly Spring night air. 

 

USA- Le Bernardin- ✪✪✪

Le Bernardin's head chef Eric Ripert grew up in both France and Andorra, a small country on the border with Spain, where starting at age 17 he began working in fine dining restaurants like La Tour D'Argent. Le Bernardin is one of the most consistently high-ranked restaurants in the world, with a 4-star rating from the New York Times since 1986 and 3 Michelin stars since 2005. Ripert is known for his focus on seafood- he once served as the poissonier for Joel Robuchon.

Le Bernardin Main Entrance

Le Bernardin Main Entrance

NEW YORK, NY, USA

SERVICE: 7.5/10

FOOD: 8.5/10

PRICE PAID: $87 (LUNCH)

VALUE/MONEY: 9.0/10

FINAL SCORE: 8.0/10

If you're on the hunt for a classic urban open-format French restaurant, then look no further. Le Bernardin's dining room has all the modern-artsy, well-appointed, gilded look once could possible desire. Fantastic lighting and set pieces make this space really sing.

Le Bernardin Interior

Le Bernardin Interior

First Bites: Scottish Salmon + Toast, 8/10

First Bites: Scottish Salmon + Toast, 8/10

As a delightful pre-course amuse, the restaurant offered a hash of poached salmon. The fish was perfectly cooked and tasted both rich and smooth on the palate. The hand-sliced thin toast was a great touch. 8/10.

1st Course: Sea Trout, 9/10

1st Course: Sea Trout, 9/10

For my first lunch course, I selected the ultra rare sea trout with braised ramps and sauce gribiche. The warm trout pairs with the miso perfectly, and the small dash of fried and fresh veggies on top adds a crispy texture. 9/10.

2nd Course: Duck + Sour Cherry, 10/10

2nd Course: Duck + Sour Cherry, 10/10

Besides being generous in portion, the duck with sour cherry is possibly the coolest pairing I've yet experienced, especially on a lunch menu. This second course kind of knocked my socks off- the duck was cooked to absolute perfection, and the sweet cherries played off the fatty duck exquisitely. The snow pea chunks added a nice mouthfeel. 10/10.

3rd Course: Pear + Vanilla Bourbon, 8/10

3rd Course: Pear + Vanilla Bourbon, 8/10

Third and final course- a slice of roasted Bosc pear with a pear and olive oil emulsion-filled bonbon. An inspired collection of flavors, and a nice simple conclusion to the meal. 8/10.