By grace.g.yang · December 29, 2010
Under: American,Desserts,Dinner,French,Michelin 2010 Guide,Michelin 2011 Guide,My Life,Prix-fixe,seafood,UWS

For our birthday over the summer, Laura treated me and David to a really wonderful dinner at The Modern. She had heard great reviews from her coworkers and she wanted to help me cross off another Michelin restaurant before the end of the year so it was a perfect place to celebrate our birthday. For her birthday, I decided to get her a dinner at Picholine; it was on my list of restaurants to visit and I figured it was something we could both enjoy. I also invited my brother and decided it would be strange to be a third wheel, so I invited a date.

We met up at Picholine on the upper west side and were very excited for dinner – I purchased a four-course tasting with wine pairings for two people and figured we’d order a la carte for the rest. We started off with some olive baguettes and whole wheat bread:


And the amuse bouche of cured salmon and squash custard with chocolate granola:


For our first course, we started with the chestnut veloute with cepe marmalade, chocolate granola, and bacon-maple mousse:


And the chestnut veloute:


And Laura started with the heirloom beets and apples with mache and horseradish-mustard coulis:


The pictures from the night were a little sub-par because I didn’t use flash at the restaurant (a problem I’ve been having with my Canon SD 770 recently) – Ken started with the sheep’s milk ricotta agnolotti with artichokes Barigoule, Bottarga, and parsley pistou:


And David started with the foie gras shabu shabu with root vegetable pearls, sweet and sour bouillon:


Out of all of the first courses, I liked the heirloom beets and apples and the foie gras shabu shabu the most; the foie gras was “cooked” at the table with the shabu shabu broth and was
the most interesting.

For our second course, we ordered the squid ink fideos with shrimp, piquillo peppers, and Pimenton-aioli:


The wild mushroom risotto with fall squash, duck cracklings, and truffle butter:


I’m don’t actually like squid ink because it turns your mouth black and I find the taste not worth the pain of wiping black ink out of your mouth but the shrimp was good enough on its own. The wild mushroom risotto was cooked well and very creamy and hearty.

For our main courses, I ordered my favorite type of fish, the skate wing “pastrami” with cabbage rouge, mustard fondue:


Laura ordered the heritage pork presse with endive-apple coulis and gooseberry mostarda:


David ordered the painted hills farm sirloin with Cipollini onions and a Béarnaise cloud:


And Ken ordered the Casco bay cod with escargot, parsley broth, and garlic chips:


(Ack that picture is giving me a slight headache just looking at it and I’m not quite sure why I couldn’t get a clear photo!) The skate wing pastrami was probably the most heavy preparation of skate I’ve ever had but was actually really quite delicious; the cabbage was a bit sour and the mustard added a spiciness to the lightly flavored fish. Everyone really enjoyed their main courses; I liked both fish preparations and the beef but thought the pork was a little too heavy.

For dessert, we ordered the chocolate-hazelnut marquise with coffee and cinnamon salt:


And the pear Helene with chocolate soup:


The restaurant also prepared a chocolate torte for Laura’s birthday:


The pear Helene had a cool chocolate syrupy soup and had a nice sweetness to it when paired with the pear and whipped cream. The chocolate hazelnut marquise was rich, decadent, and thick. We all liked the dessert options – and then the servers brought by some petit fours and chocolates:


We all enjoyed the meal at Picholine and Ken liked the restaurant a lot more than Corton, where we went on one of our first dates because the food wasn’t as avant garde. The restaurant had pretty dated decor but had a couple of nice chandeliers scattered throughout the restaurant. I’d definitely return to the restaurant in the future, especially for their pre-theater menu.

Picholine on Urbanspoon

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