Sunday, January 04, 2009

db Bistro Moderne (Manhattan) 09

How often does one leave a restaurant saying "Gosh what a wonderful meal", Not often but last night we did. We dined at db Bistro Moderne a casual bistro style restaurant at the front and a, still casual, but more formal area at the back with paper covered clothed tables. After chef's offering of eggplant and caviar and an olive paste with some small toasted breads

we had a good look at the menu. At first sight it did not look inspiring but we settled on an appetizer of escargot and chicken oyster fricassee, hazel nut spaetzle and button mushrooms ($19).

If you're not put off by the snails this is a superb starter. It presents a complex of well matched tastes with varying textures worth a song of love. Simply fabulous. I chose the special for the day Dover sole steamed with a mousseline between two layers on a bed of truffled risotto($41).

Again delicate, flavoursome and perfectly prepared. Everything was just right. My wife had the signature db sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs and foe gras ($32).

This dish, 'tho I did not know it at the time, was featured on Australian TV. It was an outstanding burger cooked as requested, served with crisp pomme frites, extremely tender and again featuring a pleasing variation in matched tastes and textures. It is not well shown in this picture as the burger was much larger and the chips smaller. It was split with the centre well stuffed. Incidental the burger royale with 10 grams of shaved black truffles costs an extra $43 pricing the truffles at $4300 / kgm and for those who couldn't care less 20 gms add $118 to the original price now charging the truffles out at $5900/ kgm - an example of reverse economy of scale!! The dessert we tried was the bavoise of poire William with a lightly flavoured ice cream. The texture of this was not the traditional style of a custard set in gelatin but regardless it tasted excellent. In their blurb the say db Bistro Moderne is four-star chef Daniel Boulud’s modern French-American bistro where the traditions of French cuisine meet the flavors of the American market. The menu reflects the changing seasons and a focus on the simplicity of fine ingredients. db promises dining that is as easy-going and convivial as it is delicious, in a casual and contemporary setting and that's about right. We had the very good fortune to get into conversation with David and Therese at the adjacent table. After our rather ordinary glass of champagne and a Burgoyne Rouge they very kindly shared a bottle of quite superior Chateau Haute-Selve 2003 Graves Bordeaux a smooth very full bodied and elegant wine with a wonderful earthy bouquet. Not only that they directed us to quite a few places that we might hope to eat at in the next few weeks. Had the venue been more sophisticated db wold have sored even higher but it certainly has a high returnability score.
Score: 17/20

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