Back in… ahem… a month that has past, my brother John (one of my favorite dining partners) took me out to dinner for my birthday in NYC. As always we had to go through the process of choosing a restaurant, emailing back and forth with ideas for weeks, and finally narrowing it down to three restaurants based on various possible scenarios relating to weather and mood on the day/time we would be going. We ultimately ended up at Knife + Fork in the East Village. It is a tiny spot – cozy and intimate – with a semi-open kitchen in the corner where you can see chef Damien Brassel and his staff working away. It was a Sunday night so obviously he is always behind the stove (they are closed Mondays) – a good sign.
We went for the six course tasting menu, which changes nightly. This was what we were served the night we were there:
1. Torchon of foie gras with octopus salad and tangerine reduction
2. Cured salmon wrapped in nori seaweed with wasabi creme fraiche, poached baby pear and radish and ginger salad
3. Barbeque eel with bacon rosotto and sun dried tomato tapenade
4. Skate with apple and black sesame seed salad with poached pineapple and a Thai sauce
5. Coriander and garlic marinated lamb with goat cheese and black bean compote
6. Cheese plate
I can’t remember the cheeses or the wine – I think we had a riesling. I intended to write about this right away so thought I would have it fresh in my head. Oh well. I had my camera with me too but it was such a foodie place I just didn’t feel right pulling it out – like it would be too touristy or something – and might reveal that I am visiting from the culinary lowlands.
The staff were excellent as well, and their enthusiasm for the food made it even more fun. Every time a new dish came out each of them (there were two on the floor that night) would come over and expectantly ask us how we liked it – then we would excitedly discuss the ingredients and flavor combinations. My favorite was the foie gras with the octopus and tangerine – sounds bizarre at first but it was exquisite.
Anyway the whole experience was so incredibly enjoyable – if in NYC I would highly recommend Knife + Fork.
After dinner we stopped in for a cocktail at Death + Company (it is kind of ironic how both places I went that night had plus signs in their name – or maybe it is just pretentious. And should I be saying “plus”? I’ve been saying “Death and Company” – is it Death plus Company? Knife plus Fork?). Shana’s friend Eric’s friend Eric told me about this place – he seems to know about all the good places for cocktails in NYC. (He should do a guest post for us right?) Anyway I liked the name of the place when he told me about it, although I was kind of half expecting it to be some goth hangout, which it was not. It was actually really charming and maybe a little dimly lit but appropriately so. I had this drink called an Elder Fashion (get it?), which is made with Plymouth Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Orange bitters and a grapefruit twist. It was a divine ending to our evening, although we really wanted to stay for a second cocktail. Butwe decided against when we figured out it would be $25 for another round (before tip!). I guess drink prices (as great as this drink was) are the one thing I don’t miss about NYC!
Knife + Fork – 108 East 4th Street
Death + Company – 433 East 6th Street