Jun 22, 2008

Menu Tasting Testing : The Lever House Restaurant (VII)

In one of my very first post (here), I wrote about one book called The Lever House Cookbook that I had borrowed at the FCI library. I well remember having enjoyed the quality of the plating and a lot of the recipes, especially around fishes from raw (tartar and carpaccio) to grilled dishes... The book tells the story about the famous new modern building called The Lever House, showing pictures of the premises. You can enjoy some of the photos of the book here. At that time, I thought that I would give it a try one day...
So, here came the day a few week ago...

Here are the dishes we chose...

Walnut and garlic tapenade

The good surprise of this dinner! I gives you the recipe found in the book below...

Hamachi, blood orange oil, fennel, fleur de sel

Big eye tuna tartare, shallot-lime dressing and trout caviar

For those both appetizers, the seasoning was far too salted, very surprising especially if we consider that the Chef and author of the Lever House Cookbook - Dan Silverman - wrote an entire paragraph about the necessity of a good seasoning, the most important skill for any chef : "Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients in my kitchen..."

Grilled halibut, porcini mushrooms and meyer lemon-fennel sauce

Maine lobster tails, thermidor butter, cauliflower-almond puree,
cippolini onions, baby spinach

Chocolate peanut tart, salted caramel and roasted peanut ice cream

Trio of panna cottas , black cardamom, espresso and muscovado brown sugar

The desserts were promptly eaten ! and we enjoyed them.

In general, I thought that the lighting in the dining room was too dark (some would say romantic)... which makes me discover the colorfulness and the freshness thanks to the flash of my camera after visualizing the shots I made ! Disappointing...

The interior made me feel not comfortable, too artificial, cold design for our style., not convivial at all... More like the kind of restaurants you go to show off or to impress your business clients maybe. The restaurant was two-third empty on a Saturday night ! I should have been more suspicious since I could make a reservation the day before. Surprising and very unusual in NYC...

Concerning the check, 260$ (including tips and one bottle of average wine) is far overpriced for the dishes we had ; you can find a great deal of restaurants in New York for at least 60$ cheaper and the same quality of dishes. We won't come back or recommend it!


Walnut and garlic tapenade ( 1 1/2 cup)
  • 5 cloves roasted garlic confit (cover peeled cloves with oil and bake in a 325ºF oven for 30 mn)

  • 1 cup walnut

  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar

  • 2/3 cup grapeseed oil

  • S&P

  • 2 tsp chervil or parsley

  • 1 tsp marjoran or oregano

In my own version, I add capers and anchovies with pink peppercorns.

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