Thursday, April 02, 2015

COLICCHIO & SONS soars in NYC's Meatpacking District (3-28-15)

Samuel, along with us, has always enjoyed Top Chef on TV, so he asked to go to Tom Colicchio's restaurant in NYC for our last night as we had no theater plans that evening after the awesome matinee of "On the Town." COLICCHIO & SONS is located on the Hudson River just off 14th Street across the street from the way-too-fun Chelsea Market where we spent too much time eating and wandering before being late for our dinner reservation. The hostess was so gracious and kind and we were so embarrassed. We were escorted to a beautiful dark wood table in the super high-ceiling rooms (more noise, alas) with carpeted floors )less noise). Exposed black steel girders divide and support (no, it's not a bra) the room. They have cool lighting which I can't describe and an awesome service team with our main server Morgan. The teams work so well together that everything was truly flawless and perfectly spaced as well.
The menu consists of several sections which Morgan explained were smaller size plates so you could choose more dishes and also share. House filtered sparkling or still is available, which is always welcome and we spoke to Patrick, the sommelier about our love of wines, especially those off the beaten track. He suggested an amazing minerally, dry and creamy Blanc et Morgez et de Salle from Valle d'Aosta in Italy on the French border from Maison Vevey Albert 2013 (hence the French name). The Prie Blanc varietal is one I never heard of but will surely remember for the future; the wine was supreme with all our fish dishes as well. Schott crystal is also nice, but the silly woven mats need to go on the tables.
House made Parker rolls arrived in a huge cast iron pan steaming hot with sea salt on top which we all gobbled up way too fast.
First came Hearts of PALM with Blood Orange & Sheep's Milk Yogurt with Brussels Sprouts Chips for Will. The dish had the hearts steamed on the thicker portions, so it was actually prepared two different ways.
Samuel started with the Broccoli-Rabe Ravioli which are charred and served in a broth with Lemon & Pepperoncini (actually Pequillo peppers) which he liked but said the broth was a bit unexciting. He went on to the Beef Tartare with Apple Jicama, Smoked Mayo and a kick from Aleppo Chiles, which disappeared prontissimo.
My first dish was the Marinated Himachi with Citrus, Celery, Pistachio & Watercress which I adored due to its simplicity but flavor as well; the pistachio crumble and dust was  very nice touch.
Will & I then split the Squid Ink Campanelle with Whipped Lardo & Egg which Morgan explained was awesome, but rich. It was wise to split this dish indeed and we were in love with every bite. Even the crunchy breadcrumbs on top were an asset to the perfect pasta preparation.
We were thrilled and surprised to receive a complimentary extra course for ALL of us in the form of the divine Celery Saffron Butter Poached Lobster with Candied Fennel and Fingerling Potato Chips which even Sam ate this reluctantly at first on the dare that he would get an extra APP for his phone. Well, he declared after that I can now cook lobster at home and he will eat it. Score one for the dads. The dish was awesome and truly a revelation.
For our "main" course, which is a misnomer as the dishes are all the same size Will chose the Charred Octopus with Citrus, Caramelized Endive & Chorizo Vinaigrette which I can only say was beyond compare as the octopus was so tender; like "buttah." The same goes for my Dry-Aged Sirloin with Asparagus, Black Garlic and Soy Bordelaise. I normally avoid steaks, but Morgan steered me to this super tender way more than flavorful meat that was indeed like "buttah." The garlic sauce helped a lot too:-)).
While Will finished the white wine, I ordered a glass of Artai 2009 "Closa Batllet" from Priorat in Catalunya, Spain which was an awesome chewy spicy red that paired excellently with the garlic and sirloin thanks to Patrick.
I was leaning towards cheese before the dessert menu came, but fell in love when my awesome platter arrived. There were three separate preparations (you can do one or three) each one a treat in itself:
SPENDIN' CHEESE was a Tickler (cow) from Devon with Mango Chutney in the form of a BLT on a biscuit with fried Prosciutto, avocado, roasted tomato and egg yolk. I could eat this BLT any day for lunch, or dinner or breakfast!
LET THEM EAT CHEESE was a Stilton Colston-Bassett from Nottinghamshire with a Vanilla Torte, Sweet Port/Lavender Sorbet(ice) and egg yolk as well as crumble. Again, sheer genius at work thinking these ideas up.
DON'T MIND IF I CHOUX (which is a play on the French pastry pate a choux, as opposed to the cabbage) and has Pyrenees Brebis (sheep) from Aquitaine with Cream filled Gougeres (puffs), Apple-Cherry Chutney, Fried Sage and Spiced Honey.
I honestly could not pick a favorite.

Samuel chose the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Port, Blood Orange and Cookies N' Cream Ice Cream. It was gone before I could even taste a bite.
Will has the yummy Coconut Cream Doughnuts with macadamia Nuts, Pomegranate-Ginger jam & Grilled Pineapple Sorbet.
Bravos to Pastry Chef Stephen Collucci, not to mention Chef de Cuisine Chris Lavey and the entire team here for a truly awesome last supper in NYC!