But there were also moments rich with excitement: a tantalizing cloud of applewood smoke filled the air as a server removed the plate's carapace, revealing a smoky, caviar-laden sturgeon-sauerkraut amalgam in a flaky tart shell. And that was soon followed by a delicately poached farm egg that explodes across the bowl upon knife pressure as if it were in a Tarantino film. Now I'm not one to profess a meretricious devotion to egg dishes, but the one-sided salt onslaught--parmesan, olive tapenade and Iberico ham--paired with the egg worked wonderfully. Dessert became a delightful ordeal, a hedonistic treadmill, highlighted by a towering pineapple-citrus macaron that went on being a joy for ten minutes.
Service was stellar throughout with my section of the dining room managed deftly by Erin, blonde and bespectacled, with an endearing awkwardness, the kind characteristic of many academics. I'm convinced I had one of the best seats in the restaurant: looked after by Erin, overlooking the MOMA sculpture garden, far away from the blaring bar and next to an investment banker on a date--with nary a chance of amatory success-- with a woman palpably oozing boredom as the hours passed; when not enmeshed in the complexities of a course, I was sustained--nourished at times--by the catastrophe-prone confabs of these two. I couldn't have planned it better if I had tried.
Lemon verbena and cinnamon popcorn
Striped bass with lentils and green apple and goat cheese crusted with ?
Chilled broccoli rabe soup with brunoised daikon
Mackerel escabeche with pickled ramp and basil coulis
Celeriac-poppyseed-crusted foie torchons, balsamic reduction and mango-passion fruit purée
Yuzu marinated langoustines, cucumber, salmon roe, lemon gelée, crisp rice and cucumber juice
Pea soup, barley, smoked ricotta and a pea barbajuan
Sculpture garden after closing
Sturgeon-sauerkraut tart with caviar mousseline and applewood smoke
Seared scallops, cardamon, shallot, rhubarb and sugar snap peas
Farm egg, parmesan crisp, olive tapenade, pimento nage and Iberico ham
Duck breast, duck confit wrapped in fresh pasta, black trumpet, frisee, pearl onions and duck jus
Trio of desserts
Strawberry-vanilla vacherin, poached rhubarb and pistachio ice cream
Pineapple-citrus macaron with tropical fruit and fromage blanc
Milk chocolate-hazelnut daquoise, confit lemon and raspberry
Take-home chocolate cakes