Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NEW HEIGHT's new chef, worth note (2-11-13)

Last night we visited NEW HEIGHTS (Woodley Park DC-http://www.newheightsrestaurant.com/home/) where Chef Takeshi Nishikawa recently took over the helm in the tiny kitchen and beautiful setting over Rock Creek Park.

It's been a long time since we visited and the place has not changed much, which is good; same great service, same classic decor, and this always works.

Will chose the 4 course tasting menu for $48, I went for 3 ala carte. We started with a bottle of Vino do Campo 2010 Godello from Ribeiro, Spain which was green apple intense, very flavorful and crisp. A small Gruyere/Duck Confit "gougere" or bouchon arrived and we were very "amuse"d with this tasty one bit tidbit.

The crispy crust hot bread also arrived with a lemon-rosemary butter that was superb.

My CRISPY OYSTERS, lime, cilantro, "trinity" were deep fried and served with lime cubed gelees as well as the trinity sauce of mayo, soy & sriracha which was really tasty. I do have to say that while I used to love fried oysters, maybe I have grown less fond of them and moved to raw ones...who knows?

Will's excellent SWEETO POTATO SOUP was hot, rich and had a dollop of creme fraiche.

He moved on to the divine HOUSE MADE FETTUCCINE, bacon. 63degreeC egg, black pepper and I quote him as saying this was "Carbonara on crack" even if the crack was the cracked black pepper! It was indeed rich, but sublime.

Our red was an excellent ELK COVE 2010 Pinot Noir from Oregon which was fine with Will's full-bodied Pan Seared Spanish MACKEREL, fennel, smoked celeriac, castelnuovo olives. The fish was tender with a tasty crunchy skin, the fennel (which we normally don't like) was crunchy and tasty and the chip-like deep fried celeriac root was fun.

My Pan Roasted SQUAB, beets, currants, corn oats suffered a bit from some sinewy meat despite its wonderful gamey taste. There was a fun entry here too with the quinoa scattered with popcorn.

Chef Nishikawa was upset about the squab and sent out a fab extra dessert Panna Cotta with Spun sugar, menthol and mint. This sounded less appetizing on the menu and I am so glad it came out as it was superb in a wonderful deconstructed way with molecular crumble and superb flavors.

Will had the Granny Smith APPLE, graham cracker, caramel, all spice which was another wonderful construction and presentation.

We heard that New Heights was looking for a pastry chef; we told them "NO--let Chef Nishikawa do his wonderful preparations!"

I had a wonderful cheese plate with divine Rosemary Honey (infused in house) and an Apricot/Pearl Onion Marmalade. The cheeses were

French Comte

Wisconisn La Cabrie goat brie

Le Chatelain -Normandy camembert (one of my faves)

Petite Basque-French goat

Dante-Wisconsin sheep (it was better two nights earlier in NY)

Cambozola Blue from Germany which is surprisingly mild.

Mile Chocolate Truffles arrived before we went home having gone to New Heights yet again.