eleven madison park

eleven madison park || 11 madison ave. || (212) 889-0905

merry christmas. wow. this delectable, decadent, exquisite experience is truly excellent. the following photos are worth a few thousand words and will perhaps tickle your taste buds.

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peaceful ambiance at 5 pm [since dinner will last for 4+ hours]

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getting gossip from the mixologist

there was also a farewell gathering of the staff & etc for the pastry chef that day. it was fun eavesdropping like a creeper from the bar before dinner began.

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cocktail selection is on point. happy with the options listed. [unlike per se  #spoiledfoodieproblems]

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secret ingredient choice. i choose you, coffee. or is that the marijuana plant?

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presents already? savory ny classic b&w cookies

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caviar + creme fraiche

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refreshing [hidden] oysters.

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“fruit salad”

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their logo now makes sense to me

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hey la tache = $12K

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dehydrated tomato stuffed with lobster topped w/baby basil & cream

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to fill you in on the tasty filling

note: to give you an idea of their stalkery absolute attentiveness, they noticed i scraped the creamy top off to the side of the dish and asked if there was a problem with it. i let them know that i didn’t want too much of the cream, and that preference was duly noted for the later items. thanks guys!

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light soup made from the tomato they previously squeezed the juice out of

ode to a new york classic. this is when the secret ingredients show face:  cherry soda to the left, coffee soda to the right.

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“pastrami & soda”

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pastrami on a fancy fiery simmer plate

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open-faced sandwich.if you want it put a pastrami on it

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cocktail: rye whiskey based egg white & anise

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old fashioned

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this cucumber salad was for the [silly] ones who opted out of their AMAZING foie gras dish that day. pretty and healthy but not on the same page.

the dish of the night: foie gras.

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the beautiful, seared foie gras with chanterelles. amazing.

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aerial view of what i loved.

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“salad bar”

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telling stories of the waldorf

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the waldorf salad + celery puree soup

curious to know how the celery soda would have tasted, we asked for a smidgen & they gave us a bottle. it was great, but cherry was surprisingly my favorite since they used fresh cherries.

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the sodas + fresh butter & bread

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halibut with paper thin radish

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green delight. celtuce.

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dbl espresso pls

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the herb-crusted dry roasted duck, stuffed with lavender

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the slice of duck that you get to eat, which was much more than i could eat at this point

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hmm. part of the duck

then there’s more…

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picnic anyone?

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added my little touch of tying the handkerchief on top.

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my name on the plates?!

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virginia sin, the artist behind the ceramic plating that appears to be paper plates

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goat cheese, candy grapes, basil paste in a jar

finally onto dessert…

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delicious dessert: butter cream, butter scotch, dehydrated milk, foam, crumble. yum.

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burning brain…

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charred brain…

and then because it was my birthday…

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pretty

sometimes it can be fun in the kitchen…especially special tours of it.

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hey kitchen crew! you’re awesome.

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photos along the wall are their farmers and growers from whom they purchase their ingredients

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37 staff in the main kitchen + ms. expediter

expediter: kitchen manager aka bootcamp captain aka “hurry the eff up, are you a snail or are you a chef” [i’d imagine she yells this] who makes sure everyone is on task on time, down to every minute, every second, and ensures a sufficient amount of all ingredients necessary for the amount of diners every day.

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the new sous chef making a special icy cone treat

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we’re all kids again! snow cones, fancy ones.

as if our 4 hour dinner + kitchen tour wasn’t obnoxious grand enough, they relocated us to a pleasant after-the-never-ending-dinner private corner lounge where we can further lengthen our stay by indulging in more caffeine and a complimentary bottle of grappa. if only it were scotch…

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the lounging area

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sweet classic new york b&w cookies & pretzel infused with dark, milk, & white chocolates

another birthday surprise…

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dark chocolate covered coconut bar of decadence

they decided to feed me for breakfast as well.

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fresh homemade granola.

so good, all the squirrels in the city came running over.

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the [wrinkled] menu.

a fantastic journey it was — overall a worthwhile experience for a special occasion especially since it is like a classic broadway show + new york history 101 + foodie heaven + michelin snob all packed into one night. take her/him there. :D

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le progrès paris

le progrès || 1 rue de bretagne, le marais district, paris, france

fee fie foe foie,
i smell the cafe full of cool parisians.

why this is my favorite cafe:

1. they don’t have a website [aka they are snobbish cool, just like you & me]

2. they are located in the middle of a 6-street intersection = massive people-watching haven

3. their food is solid. yum.

4. this is the hip hangout with cool [and pretty] people & right next door to a modeling agency & various fashion houses. models & artists central.

5. their servers are consistently entertaining. [one tried to “pimp out” his younger colleague to us…]

with all the positives, i was able to forgive them for not having wifi.

my favorite here, salade gourmande au foie gras + magret de canard fumé: foie gras + smoked duck breast + haricots verts + tomatoes + greens, drizzled with the perfect citrus vinaigrette 20140805-175541.jpgsalad la parisienne: ham + cheese + egg + tomatoes + simple greens 20140805-175640.jpgcool artifacts…20140805-175725.jpgthen i spy 3 guys…20140805-175801.jpghow to pick up on 3 [cute] guys?20140805-175835.jpgpretend to have a parisian cigarette “vogue” right behind them & eavesdrop [like a super creeper] & wait for the right moment to attack start up convo…20140805-180204.jpgphotobomb-kiss by a passerby. i was caught & the targets are leaving…20140805-180308.jpgmission failed. pretend nothing ever happened. denydenydeny. 20140805-180352.jpggoodbye. we’ll never see you again.20140805-180447.jpgbut tomorrow will be another day! 20140805-180541.jpg
and then le progres revisited…
20140805-180648.jpgback for lunch with my favorite, the lovely fashionista paula who i met at cannes years ago! and it happens to be her birthday today!!! parabéns linda!20140809-183730.jpgif it’s delicious, why not get it again? their foie gras has that extra spark in it, infused with magical wine & such. perfect. more than reasonably priced. 20140809-183757.jpgsteak tartare was seasoned well.20140809-183826.jpgcafe viennois was our staple caffeine. yum.20140809-185646.jpgand finally, our last visit here was a wonderful farewell of whiskey drinking games + adventures + lotto tickets.

you win some, you lose some.
but whœuf they are handsome.

if you’re in the mood for fancy, then I guess you already know about matignon

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drum roll… per se

per se || 10 columbus circle #4, new york, ny 10019 || (212) 823-9335

per se probably needs no introduction but that just wouldn’t be proper. it has been long awarded with 3 michelin stars and maintained its status with good reason, thanks to chef thomas keller who ingrains the perfectionism into this establishment. this was a peaceful marriage between my eyes, tastebuds, and stomach and all senses, if that were to ever exist. my adventure from the 7 course lunch of 4 hours:

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afraid and/or excited selfie

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amouse bouche, salmon tartare on a cone

note the houndstooth theme on their plate sets and even the dinner cloth.

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“oysters & pearls” – sabayon of pearl tapioca + island creek oysters + sterling white sturgeon caviar

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i love sodium! various salts from rare places + different eras, to be paired with the foie gras to give different overtones & WOW to each bite

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“torchon of elevages perigord moulard duck foie gras” – foie gras is my achilles heel. this was as delicious as it looked

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“hawaiian heart of peach palm bavarois” – hearts of palm salad that initially sounded boring, but boring it was never.

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pretty bread i took a mini bite of just so i could taste their fresh butter

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more bread choices. if you have a spacier stomach, feel free to indulge in their breads. otherwise, pace yourself!

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“boudin de homard” – lobster pudding w/cauliflower purée + garden state peaches + piedmont hazelnuts + caper nuage (cloud)

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“four story hill farm’s suckling pig porchetta” w/brentwood corn + oregon chanterelle mushrooms + pea tendrils + aji dulce peppers

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the magic box of australian black winter truffles!!! don’t judge a book by its cover, otherwise truffles would be deemed as disgusting.

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charcoal grilled snake river farms’ calotte de beouf w/yukon gold potato rings + persian cucumbers + heirloom carrots + kendall farms crème fraîche

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the sinsu cocktail: st. germain elderflower liquor + grey goose vodka + hibiscus syrup + grapefruit juice. success! they had an extensive list of wines & scotches but as for the cocktail menu, i wasn’t inclined to order any of them & kindly requested my own concoction :D

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“assortment of desserts” part 1: fruits

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“assortment of desserts” part 2: ice cream

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“assortment of desserts” part 3: chocolates

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“assortment of desserts” part 4: “candies”

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the per se parting gift tin box of chocolate cookie sandwiches

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photo sesh time!

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commanding the art direction…or pointing out we’ve closed up shop, yet again.

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the per se photo sesh isn’t complete until you’ve taken a tour of their kitchen & waved hello to the chefs over at french laundry via their live video conference

merry xmas for your mouth & eyes!

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baoburg

baoburg || 126 n. 6th st., brooklyn, ny 11211 || 718.782.1445

yes, brooklyn. williamsburg, brooklyn. don’t you know that this is the new hipster area? if not, then you’re not as hip as i thought you were. :) nevermind that someone might have once frightened you by saying the residents dress like homeless people with iphones or that they are spoiled lazy hipsters – clearly, that’s false. if you’re a manhattanite or simply someone up for a [small] road trip and you are feeling so inclined to venture out into bk, this is the place to start!

it could not be more accurately self-dubbed as “the art of culinary in the heart of williamsburg.” i stumbled into this wonderful, reasonably-priced gem shortly before its official grand opening in october and had a chance to meet the young & awesome chef bao bao herself. the space is intimate – you can easily eavesdrop on others’ conversations even if you’re trying hard not to be creepy nosy – but very well put to use with a dark, sexy, stylish decor. it’s a 12-seater that screams exclusive & perfection yet approachable & accessible, unlike other 10-12 seat restaurants that can be pretentious and burn holes in wallets take months for reservations. there is an open kitchen where you can admire the chef & her team’s brilliance as well as enjoying the fumes of all things you haven’t [yet] ordered. their cuisine is french with spanish & asian influences – well that just seems like the perfect fusion.

here are the delicacies during their opening event: my favorite must-get is listed first, the seared duck ramen, which will soon be on every ramen addicts’ top 10 list. it is so tasty yet so guilt-free:

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perfectly seared duck breast on fresh thick ramen, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms & poached daikon radish in duck consomme.

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brie, walnuts, honey on toast – a classic but done so well!

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roasted beets + whipped goat cheese + pistachios

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smoked salmon toast bites

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rare & tender steak, cauliflower pureé, caramelized carrots, sautéed mushroom ragout & a lot of YUM.

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crab cake – on the heavier side, but great

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hello chef bao bao!!!

baoburg-me

enjoying a rosé & a scrumptious shrimp head

apparently, they have amazing options called sober bao and hangover bao served during brunch. i will definitely be revisiting baoburg very soon to share with you their daytime offerings.

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jean-georges

jean-georges || 1 central park west, new york, ny 10023 || (212)299-3900

gluttony is a sin, but not during thanksgiving, and definitely not in new york, so there wouldn’t be a more appropriate time to share with you my experience with the 3 michelin-starred restaurant’s impressive autumn tasting menu [with wine pairing, well why not?]. it was such a delightful experience + the portions are an agreeably abundant amount for humans. let the drooling glory begin:

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refreshing amuse bouche

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toasted egg yolk, caviar, & herbs

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japanese snapper carpaccio, ginger, white radish, olive oil

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fresh santa barbara uni toast

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grilled foie gras dumplings, port glazed figs & passion fruit

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arctic char, spiced jade emulsion and tender celeriac – only complaint was that the sauce was bit salty

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steamed maine lobster, summer squash, yuzu vinaigrette

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rare rack of lamb, smoked chili glaze, new onion compote, pole beans

i had to tap out on the last 3 after tasting just a bit to reserve a little space for the sweets!

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unfinished glasses of wine from the pairing. *smh with disapproval* let the glasses never be empty!

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late harvest dessert pairing

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classic chocolate dessert tasting

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palate cleansers

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lavendar macarons + other weight increasers

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using my hands, keepin’ it classy

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shutting down the place, as per usual. oh hey, did you want me to leave yet?

so, do we feel heavier yet? awesome.

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louro, a special chef’s tasting

louro 142 w. 10th st., new york, ny 10014
(212) 206-0606

this festive, chic west village feel and not-too-dimly-lit lighting was perfect for obnoxious food photos foodies yet maintained a flawless, flattering skin tone for the vain the guests.

what a wonderful evening of exquisite chef’s tasting + cocktail pairing, designed by chef russell jackson. the french-asian fusion was perfectly crafted to balance light + heavy ingredients, leaving us completely satisfied, in the eyes, the taste buds, & the stomach. there was no menu. a list of ingredients prior to that evening was disclosed, but i wasn’t aware of it so everything came as a surprise for me.

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starting off right: 50 yr old seagram’s – who knew he’d be so smooth? the only 50 yr old i’d ever do :)

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perfectly chilled, rare duck spring roll + chili ponzu. delish + spicy.

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fresh uni + pesto sorbet + tarragon foam + pistachios = MY FAVORITE

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half-demolished chilled pork cheek cubes, fluke sashimi, tapioca, plum puree, smothered in szechwan oil + shiso leaf + rice crisp // cocktail: housemade vodka + ginger + kombucha

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mouth-watering, charred pork belly, mussels, clams, turnip, radish, shiitake, baby carrots in saffron broth // cocktail pairing worth mentioning: bacon-infused old overholt bourbon

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sacrificed rare lamb to a tender perfection + spicy xo sauce + tofu purée + purple rice

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foie gras caramel + toffee crunch + miso ice cream + anise chocolate = grand finale

the excitement at this table of foodies was contagious, and presumably above & beyond louro’s usual clientele, & accounted for by everyone surrounding us with their looks of questionable envy curiosity + admiration. the chef himself stopped by to say hi & share with us an old bottle of scotch he has yet to break open, and the bottom looked like colonies of gold crystals ready for attack. we didn’t have any that evening. we didn’t need anything else.

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restroom selfie post-dinner, to ensure i was still presentable

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bouley

bouley 163 duane st, new york, ny 10013

enter the fresh apple farm

the fresh apple library entrance

fantastic, fancy french fine dining for foodies by chef david bouley. jackets are required for the boys while the ladies should keep it classy. prepare for a 2-3 hour lunch/dinner, best enjoyed with good company + intelligent conversation. for the stellar quality & service, it’s quite a steal, especially for lunch.

other than my obsession with foie gras, [i still need to try it here] i’m not too crazy about french food [mainly because of the fat the butter guilt], but bouley has become a favorite of mine. it has a peaceful ambiance [sometimes slightly uncomfortable at first if you’re more accustomed to loud places], except when i’m there. i would recommend the chef’s tasting but if you decide to order from the regular menu, you must get the porcini flan [x2] or be filled with regret for the rest of your life. some highlights of my visual + palate euphoria:

butternut squash puree w/pine nuts in a sack

butternut squash puree w/pine nuts in a sack – who wouldn’t enjoy that?

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carpaccio of kampachi – young blue fin tuna + striped amber jack + microgreens

forager's treasure of wild mushrooms. [why does this sound dirty?]

forager’s treasure of wild mushrooms + grilled toro + black truffle dressing [why does this sound dirty?]

alaska live dungeness crab, black truffle dashi - ###YES###

PORCINI FLAN – alaska live dungeness crab, black truffle dashi – ###YES### is this love?

creamy something

eat the organic connecticut farm egg smothered in hollandaise-y cream slowly & carry a big crunchy cheesy stick – beware – pace yourself

organic long island duck,  organic golden nevada dates, hudson valley hand milled polenta, confit of young organic clementines - fantastic + rare

organic long island duck, organic golden nevada dates, hudson valley hand milled polenta, confit of young organic clementines – fantastic + rare // butter-mashed potato heaven in a tiny dish on upper left

palate cleansers + palate contaminators

palate cleansers + palate contaminators: tangerine, clementine, mandarin parfait
& lychee sorbet // chocolate soufflé w/white coffee cloud, coffee ice cream, chocolate mousse // hot caramelized anjou pear + hot toffee sauce // petit fours

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the lovely french loo, les toilettes, a true selfie resting room

oh, and they have a parting gift: a splendid lemon pound cake for you to take home & reminisce the money moment you spent. this michelin-starred restaurant surely deserves a second star.

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