Adour Alain Ducasse

By grace.g.yang · December 28, 2010
Under: Desserts,Dinner,French,Michelin 2010 Guide,Michelin 2011 Guide,Midtown East,My Life,Prix-fixe,seafood

I was quite excited to visit Adour at the St. Regis hotel because it seemed like the restaurant was on the higher end of the one-star Michelin restaurants. A lot of critics of the Michelin review guides say that the reviewers just don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to anything but French food. Four of the five three-starred restaurants in New York are French (or French/American) and there are many more three-starred restaurants in Europe than there are any where else in the world. While I thought the restaurant should’ve remained in the one star category, it’s definitely one of the better one-starred restaurants I’ve visited:


I was really early for dinner because I had a meeting in the neighborhood and had my laptop with me so I requested that I sit down at our table. The server was very accommodating and didn’t even flinch when I took out my laptop and charger to finish up some work for the night. We sat in a nice little nook within the restaurant and I was able to do some work before my date arrived without disturbing the other diners (although I’m sure they were wondering what I was doing with a laptop out at dinner). When my date arrived, we were presented the menus and we decided to do one regular tasting menu and one vegetarian tasting menu so we could maximize the variety of dishes we sampled. My date also suggested we do the wine pairing (something I’ve never done with a pre-fixe menu).

To start, a server came by with a basket with different types of bread and two types of butter:


The tasting menu’s first course was Spicy Consomm√© ruby red shrimp, sea urchin, californian abalone, confit lemon:


And the consumme:


And the vegetarian tasting menu’s first course was Cranberry Bean Veloute with quail eggs, chanterelles, and a balsamic reduction:


And the balsamic reduction:


I preferred the spicy consumme because I love seafood and the consumme had notes of lemon and also a briny sea taste. The shrimp was large and had the perfect bite to it, too. My vegetarian dish had great chanterelle mushrooms but otherwise, I thought it was a little too heavy for a first course.

For the tasting menu’s second course, we were presented with Sauteed Duck Foie Gras roasted honey crisp apple, champagne grapes, floc de gascogne:


And the vegetarian second course was Autumn White Vegetables Carpaccio apple, pear, black truffle vinaigrette:


I’m totally obsessed with foie gras and will order it if it’s ever on the menu so of course I liked the regular tasting menu’s dish more than the vegetarian course, but both were very enjoyable. The maitre’d noticed that I was photographing every dish and even came over to help me get a better light to photograph the vegetable carpaccio dish. The foie gras was rich and tasted so incredibly wonderful with the pops of champagne grapes and matchstick apples. The vegetable carpaccio was a bit on the plain side and when you have a foie gras so flavorful, it’s tough to eat the carpaccio after.

The next tasting menu course was the wild striped bass:


And my next vegetarian tasting menu course was the Yukon gold potato gnocchi with broccolini and tuber melanosporum:


I’ve never seemed to find gnocchi cooked to the texture I remember from my travels to Italy but the bite from this gnocchi was probably the closest to what I remember from my summer adventures with my family. The fish course was also really delicious for the regular tasting menu; fresh, light, and a slight departure from the other heavier courses.

I think the regular tasting menu must have been more extensive than the vegetarian tasting menu because the next course was a scallop that wasn’t quite memorable enough for me to write about:


My main course for the vegetarian tasting menu was the figs and wild mushroom cookpot with olive oil and black pepper condiment:


And the final savory course from the tasting menu was the Nebraskan Beef with celery root and syrah sauce:


The mushrooms were surprisingly meaty but the combination with the warmed figs just didn’t do it for me. It was a simple dish presented in a rustic way (in a fig leaf) that was really beautiful but I wasn’t a huge fan. The beef was a bit on the heavy side especially after drinking so much wine (their pours were *very* generous) and I felt as if I’d eaten way too much by the time the beef arrived.

I had leftover wine from every course because there was just too much food and wine:


So I thought I was full, but then the most awesome desserts arrived – contemporary exotic vacherin with mango marmalade, coconut, passion fruit:


And Roasted pink grapefruit with earl grey jelly, mascarpone sorbet:


And a dark chocolate crisp with coffee cremeaux and cocoa nibs:


And wonderful chocolates:


And finally, homemade macarons:


My favorite was definitely the contemporary exotic vacherin, which had so many different fresh tropical flavors that even though I was extremely full from all of the food, I managed to polish off the majority of the dessert on my own. The other two desserts were from the regular tasting menu; the pink grapefruit appealed to me because of the citrus and surprisingly light mascarpone sorbet and the dark chocolate dessert was just plain delicious.

I enjoyed the meal at Adour very much and I was slightly surprised that it was on the one-star list (especially after dining at all of the two-star restaurants). The service was very accommodating and attentive without being overbearing, the food was delicious, and the wines were paired really well (even though I have very little wine knowledge and I didn’t write down what each course was paired with, I enjoyed all of the wines!)

Adour (St. Regis) on Urbanspoon

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