beet & goat cheese arancini with pesto
I have spent the past year thinking about the most delicious martini I have ever had. A ginger martini infused with freshly grated ginger. It was sublime. So when I first planned this trip to New York, I knew that Public had to be on the itinerary. After giving our name to a *very* cheerful receptionist and our coats to a *very* cheerful coat check, we beelined for the bar. Thankfully the bartender was not *very* cheerful, just pleasantly engaging. I was giddy with excitement as I awaited my ginger cosmopolitan ~ vodka infused with freshly grated ginger, Cointreau, white cranberry and lime juice, skewered with a chunk of candied ginger. Scott ordered a pomegranate mojito. Mine was better :-)
Rule #1 in Dining: Go to a restaurant where you or your dining companion(s) know the chef. It usually makes from an extraordinary dining experience....or at least an interesting one. This one was both. Accompanying my friend Scott from the FCI, he was coincidentally giving Chef Brad Farmerie and his interns a tour of the school the next day so we were in for quite a meal.
The chef, knowing Scott’s proclivity for all things green (read: vegetarian), offered a Chef’s Special Vegetarian Tasting Menu. I was sure that it would no doubt be fabulous so I went along. We also requested that he recommend a wine – a wine, as in a glass of wine – to go with dinner. See Rule #1. The chef sent out a different wine with every plate! Amazing! Our waiter, Ruben from Bar-thay-lona, was also *very* cheerful, but sincere and knowledgeable. With each wine, he assured us we would “really, really, really like it”.
Cauliflower, yogurt, ajowain soup with kirmizi bibir (a rich oily Turkish chili powder) and cilantro
~ Riesling, Wynns 2003 Coonawarra, Australia
Mushroom ceviche with miso aubergines (eggplant) in a ginger ponzu sauce
~ Gewurztraminer, Montinore Estate 2004, Oregon
Salad of braised fennel, kalamata olives, orange, and cojita cheese with smoked almonds and sun-dried tomatoes
~ Sauvignon Blanc, Crossroads 2005, Marlborough, New Zealand
Beet & goat cheese arancini with pesto and sherry braised onions
~ Pinot Blanc, Marc Kreydenweiss “Kritt Klevner” 1997, Alsace, France
After this fourth plate, before the final entrée, I whispered to the waiter “I’m h-u-n-g-r-y! Can I p-l-e-a-s-e have some m-e-a-t?!” The very gracious chef sent out a perfectly seared salmon with a creamy remoulade on roasted parsnips, chorizo, and brussel sprouts with sherry braised onions and guindilla gribiche sauce.
~ DeBortoli “Noble One” Botrytis Semillon 2002, New South Wales, Australia
Scott had an absolutely delicious spicy Thai pumpkin curry with picked cucumber relish, grilled miso flat bread and a snow pea, bean sprout, and lime leaf salad that gave me food envy! I stole a few bites of his before tucking into my salmon. OK, now I’m full! Like really full!
Not so fast….. the hat trick dessert! On the left, honey and lemongrass crème brulée with glazed figs, fig compote and macadamia nut brittle...in the middle, pumpkin panna cotta with candied spaghetti squash and sage ice cream...and on the right, flourless chocolate walnut cake, plum wine roasted pear and chestnut ice cream.
~ Alvear, Pedro Ximenez “De Añada” 2003, Montilla Montes, Spain
210 Elizabeth St @ Prince & Spring
New York, NY 10012