A medium sized package arrived in the mail yesterday. A package that was so important that it practically had the power to compel Jose to take me to Adour to test it out. I love it when an inanimate object can do my job for me. This special package was Jose’s present to himself: a new top of the line lens.
Originally Jose had his heart set on WD-50, then it was Tocqueville,then SHO (but apparently they were closed for the Jewish holidays, a pity cause that place looks good and is apparently fairly well priced…maybe next weekend) After all this talk and an hour or so of perusing the foodblogs Jose became obsessed with the idea of Adour. Aghh another fancy shmancy place, I was surely not in the mood, and tried to convince him out of it, but clearly I had no power last night, the lens hogged it all. Long story short we ended up at Adour.
I knew a little bit about the space and the interactive wine table ( Potion, the amazing place where I worked designed it a while back, and is as far as I know the FIRST of its kind) my knowledge ended there with the space and jose filled me in on all the research he did on the food side of things.
The interior, by Rockwell is nice. I really loved the blown glass hanging balls however the rest of the space felt a bit over the top. I imagine the interior did provide the backdrop they were looking for, fancy traditional meets modern flair.
The service was far from stuffy, in fact our waiter was hilarious. He treated Jose and I as if we were 16 year old kids, trying to seem like grownups out for our first date. These are some of his most used addorable phrases “Its gonna be fun! You are going to love the dessert…lots and lots of gold!” , “You guys are going to have fun for sure!” ” The fun is going to start now!” “Isn’t this fun? I wish I was sitting where you are right now.” It was fun with him at the helm, especially when we saw his excitement in delivering the dishes …. “Ooo la la! Here we have…bla bla bla” The sommionier was also wonderful! He knew his stuff, I mean he would have to that wine list was intense and would make any fairly knowledgeable wine guy get a little anxious. He recommended a wonderful spanish wine from catalonia, a fairly small and less famous region then your standard ribiero or rioja varities. The wine was sublime, and didn’t break our bank account the ways the other ones would have. Overall the service was fantastic, knowledgeable, memorable and lets not forget fun. Nice job guys!
Onto the food. It just so happens that we planned our timing just right and were able to try out the special tasting menu Celebrating Alain Ducasse’s 55th birthday. This menu featured the chef’s favorite dishes from five of his restaurants worldwide. (for the month of September 2011 only. Hmmm…. somehow this offer was still available in October…)
I was not sure whether or not I would like the food here, like I said it all seemed a bit over the top and often times that translates into underwhelming food. Thankfully I was wrong. The food was veering on the more traditional french side, there was no molecular concoctions being made behind the kitchen door, instead they were all very meticulously prepared dishes that somehow seemed familar and comfortable, not pretentious. The sauces and the melding of flavors were spot on.
Thin crust vegetable tart with a garden herb Pistou sauce
ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE DORCHESTER, LONDON
What a way to start the night! This dish was great. The veggies were balanced nicely with the spicy horseradish sauce. Jose’s new lens couldn’t get enough of this dish either, can’t you tell.
House made Farfalle with shellfish and Brocoletti puree
LE LOUIS XV – ALAIN DUCASSE, MONTE-CARLO
I loved this dish, but then again I’m a sucker for pasta. I never eat it/never order it (I think it has to do with my low carb mentality) but I do love when it comes with a tasting menu cause I’m forced to eat it. This dish was delish! The assortment of fresh seafood was decadent and generous and went fantastically well with homemade square pasta.
Baked Atlantic Halibut, swiss chard with preserved lemon and black pepper condiment
ALAIN DUCASSE AU PLAZA-ATHENEE, PARIS
Loved the caper sauce in this dish. The flavors were very different than most fish sauces I have tried. The Swiss Chard was wonderful.
Milk-fed veal medallions with Porcini mushrooms and roasting Jus.
BEIGE – ALAIN DUCASSE, TOKYO
This dish was delicious but not the star of the night.
Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Dark Chocolate Sorbet: Coffee granite with caramelized Brioche croutons (Voted best dessert in 2009)
ADOUR ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE ST. REGIS, NEW YORK
This dish blew our minds!!! It was so strange, in a good way. Let me tell you the sorbet was one of the best chocolate desserts I have had. Runner up would be A16 chocolate budino!
Contemporary Exotic Vacherin: Mango Marmalade, coconut with passion fruit emulsion
This was not a part of the tasting menu and was a nice surprise to us. It was one of the most uniquely flavored desserts we have had in some time. This is a dessert I would really love to recreate somehow. If you do end up going, please order this! You will not regret it!!!
We asked to have these wrapped up to take home but sadly I left them after getting really wrapped up into a conversation with the lovely hostess after dinner. It is probably for the best that I didn’t start today with that stuff going in my mouth.
My first look at the interactive wine table by Potion the firm where I work.
A llittle side note on the Liquor side of things …If you so happen not to be a lover of wine and prefer cocktails I would think twice about making reservations here unless you are cool with buying a few $27.00 cocktails!
2 E. 55th St., New York, NY 10022
at Fifth Ave.