Three Michelin Stars. The Top #4 Restaurant in the World – #1 in North America. One of the very few restaurants with New York Times’ maximum possible Four Stars rating. This was the meal I was looking forward to the most in this trip.
Probably the hardest reservation to secure on this trip, I had high hopes for this visit. Three Michelin Stars, the Top #4 Restaurant (#4 when I dined, #5 as of 2015) in the freakin’ world, this was simply foodies heaven and I don’t think any further explanations are necessary as to why I dined here.
Despite my best efforts, the only reservation I could get is for the 10:00pm timeslot. The sky turned dark and my camera were panting for more light/ISO like a dog in a hot car – which explained the bad pics, sorry.
Eggs Benedict. Absolutely divine.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras.
Carrot. Grounded fresh table side.
Finger Lakes Duck. This was what it looks like before it was served.
Take home goodie bag consisted of a box of cookies, a jar of REALLY good and fresh granola, and the menu. I love it when restaurants does this.
The atmosphere was surprisingly causal. There wasn’t a dress code but we dressed up anyways for the occasion. There were loud conversations and laughing in the dining room, unlike the other fine dining restaurants I’m about to visit later in the trip that would be more uptight.
Though the dishes were really good, perhaps to the point of perfection, I feel that it lacks that sense of wonderment that excites me. Don’t get me wrong, the dishes were well executed, but as I progressed through each dish, I always thought to myself, “have I seen/tasted this dish somewhere else before?” or “is that it?” Sure, the carrot puree and the celery root cooked in pig bladder exhibited fine showmanship, the “egg benedict” and the duck was stunning, but beyond that, there’s not much else that’s particularly memorable for me.
It could be because of the things I’ve read or heard, such as diners being able to pick their preferred flavor with a card or the “Name that Milk” dessert, that I was expecting something more interactive. But none of those things materialized for our visit, could be because of our late 10:00pm sitting. Or maybe the uniqueness of the menu was lost in the myriad of Michelin-star tasting menus I’ve had in the past or later on in this trip. Or maybe I was just really tired. In any case, I have to say my experience was “great with a but”.