One year ago, I have had the privilege to attend the the celebration of the top ten pastry chefs in the country hosted by Dessert Professional Magazine at the ICE in downtown New York City. Below are some of the many favorite highlights from the amazing pastry chefs. We are very excited to return this year’s event.
Two Mondays ago, on March 20, I’ve had the privilege to attend the launch of Assouline’s “Dinner with Georgia O’Keefe” at La Sirena located in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. The event was well attended by local TV personalities and celebrities such as Carla Hall from ABC The Chew, Nicky Hilton Rothchild, Timo Weiland, Prosper Assouline, and Alexandre Assouline.
Artistic and natural images depicting the relationship between art and food were provided by Robyn Lea who was present to sign copies of the book. Recipes from the cookbook utilizes local and traditional ingredients inspired by the artist’s relationship of food and the New Mexican landscape.
More importantly I came there to explore and taste the food created by La Sirena’s Michelin starred chef Anthony Sasso. Cocktails were sponsored by VDKA600.
The food was overall tasty and natural. The recipes provided appear to be user friendly and ingredients are health-friendly and accessible at any supermarket. Unfortunately I was unable to taste everything because of the sacrificial commitment to give up meat for Lent.
For the next two weeks, I will be seeking to test out the meatless version of this recipes such as the spaghetti and pesto Genovese and chickpea and eggplant casserole.
Recently I have received information from various sources of restaurant closings in New York City. One of them was a restaurant that was on my list for NYC restaurant week to go to, but unfortunately was booked for the days that I am available to go. The name of this restaurant is élan and I finally made the effort to explore the restaurant on what I thought was the last day. The restaurant was only serving a prix fixe menu – 3 course meal for $40. I had the privilege of meeting one of the owners – George. George informed me that they are extending business until the end of the month hopefully. Meg, my server for that evening was good, but she could be better. She neglected to inform me of the other specials that was off the menu that evening. However, her accommodation and hospitality towards was good. Meg provided a great sales pitch on the popular dishes to try and her recommendations were on point.
The first dish I ordered was the Sea Urchin Guacamole. The dish caught my eye and I was immediately curious. I asked Meg, my server, about the dish and she highly recommended it so I went with my gut plus her approval and ordered it. The dish was beautifully presented, approximately 1 cup of guacamole with a sea urchin in the middle surrounded by taro chips heavily seasoned in sea salt. Personally I am not a salt fan, but the dish was well balanced. The saltiness of the taro chips complemented the acidity and sourness of sea urchin mixed with the guacamole. I devoured the dish.
While feasting on my appetizer dish, Meg served me a house made everything pretzel with whole grain mustard butter, which was delicious. Hands down.
For the main course, I followed Meg’s recommendation of the chef’s special of the day dish, which was off the menu. I ordered a striped bass, which is pan seared star bass on top of a delightful red wine butter sauce. I loved the red wine butter sauce. The fried sage potato chips were cleverly made, a piece of fresh sage leaf sandwiched in between two very thinly sliced potatoes and deep fried. The dish was beautifully presented and tasted even better than the guacamole appetizer.
After reviewing the drink list, I came across this sherry wine that cost only $6 I had to try it. The sherry wine was just right for my tolerance and went well with what I ate so far.
For dessert, I decided to once again follow Meg’s recommendation of the milk chocolate mousse. George, one of the owners, served me the dish. The dish hit the spot. It had the right balance of the natural sweets of the passion fruit with the milk chocolate. What I learned is that this was the first day that they were serving this dish and I was satisfied. I would definitely order it again.
Overall this was one of best prix fixe meals I have had in a while because every dish tasted better and better. The food experience left a lasting impression and I am sad that this place was closing. I told three of my friends and convinced them to come to this restaurant. Therefore, I will definitely be returning. Hopefully, they will extend their business until the end of the month.