Adventures in NYC Fine Dining

We ate at Corton last night and the meal had its high points (a perfect toasted brioche, corn velouté, avocado/sorrel/banana paste, a quenelle of coconut sorbet with basil seeds and kaffir lime gelée) but more memorable were the lows. At one point they served us a dish of peekytoe crab under a clear round of gelée with petals in it, with the corn velouté poured delicately around it. Off to the side was a kumquat slice topped with a clam encased in seawater gelée, under crushed hazelnuts and sherry cream (straight out of a razor clam shell). I was distracted because the waitress said the petals were nasturtium, but they were clearly rose. Sure enough, the gelée was like eating perfume. Meanwhile, Derval is unhelpfully making jokes about the clam and aspic. Needless to say, I couldn’t take the dish very seriously but there wasn’t much going on in it anyways. Were it not for the corn concoction it would have been a total wash.

That being said, it was less personally offensive than the little shock we got in the last dessert plate. I was happily chattering away about my love of brown butter crumble with brown butter custard, and looking forward to what I was sure was brown butter ice cream. Had I been smart, I would have smelled it first and immediately realized that it was a no go. Instead, it hit my tongue and Derval just laughed at my expression of disgust. Smoked ice cream. I mean who even does that. The poor ice cream. It sums up my feelings on Corton though: there was at least one really nice element to every dish, but the side additions of mousses, jus, gelées, etc. tended to fall flat or muddy already complicated flavours.

To be fair to Corton, maybe that type of experimental dining is just not for me. It was a fun night though, and I’m glad we went.

91st Street Garden at dusk

As it’s Thursday, I thought I’d share a few links before I sign off for a weekend in Maryland (hurray!).

Want to look just like the Duchess of Cambridge? See What Kate Wore

Apparently there are other crazy people who fly to Cougar Annie’s garden

Fitz & The Tantrums – perfect summer music

Toasted Almond Semifreddo  is high on my list of things to make this summer (ignore the carmelized apples and add a punch of raspberry coulis [raspberries, a little lemon juice, a little sugar – blitz in blender, strain if desired] or perhaps some saucy cherries [halved cherries, water, sugar, vanilla bean seeds – cook until soft and/or syrupy] OR some lightly carmelized peaches, yes!)

Happy Canada Day tomorrow, my friends!

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