Archive for December, 2009



04
Dec
09

Solamente Solo


Solo, situated in the atrium of the SONY building (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800), is the brainchild of Joey Allaham creator and owner of the acclaimed Prime Grill. It is a high-end upscale restaurant featuring a fusion of exotic Mediterranean & Asian cuisine.

The dining room at Solo is the epitome of modern chic with its cool modular abalone-like mosaic panels & sand carved glass partitions, Mediterranean stuccoed walls, corkwood flooring, and bespeckled leather seating. It’s the perfect place for corporate pow wows, or when you want to impress.  I just loved the beautifully lit wall of gold olive oil bottles. Solo’s got an exclusive Club/VIP Room, and 3 private dining rooms available with plasma TV screens and controlled sound and lighting features with a seating capacity of up to 20. The VIP room connects to the kitchen allowing private dining with Chef Dan who incorporates Asian, French, and exotic Spanish influences in his exciting cooking style.

Now… to the food! It’s basics with a clean fresh twist. Presentation is elegant, artistic, bare yet precise, very Feng Shui balanced.

CS, the guy who says he doesn’t like fish, started with a Salmon appetizer while I ordered the Panko Crusted Veal Sweetbreads, with field greens, tomato, onion and citrus. Both were great choices. He followed it with a Solo USDA Prime Cowboy Steak which came with polenta fries, Chimichurri and green peppercorn sauce. I had the Beer & Plum Braised Beef Short Ribs (a feast for the palate AND the eyes) with turnip puree, sun dried tomato and pepper gastrique and crispy shallots. Both main selections were outstanding!

For dessert I took the very luscious looking, very aromatic, absolutely delicious Baked Pear with Strawberries in Raspberry Sauce while CS went for the the Caramelized Banana Tart which came with vanilla ice cream.

Our wine selection, a 2005 Benyamina The Cave was superlative and a more than fair complement to this superb meal. Eka, our waiter, was very friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He did not stir us wrong! We loved everything, Both Chef Dan and the Pastry Chef outdid themselves, BUT we wish the portions were somewhat more generous.

SYR

Solo on Urbanspoon

02
Dec
09

Dining in Style


New York’s top kosher steakhouse is, without a doubt, Prime Grill (60 East 49th Street; New York, NY 10017; Telephone: 212.692.9292). But, do not take my word for it! Many well known actors, politicians, top business leaders, even those who need not worry about eating kosher, find their way to this eatery. In fact, as Executive Chef David Koloktin puts it, some of New York’s biggest business deals were hammered out during many a lunch at Prime Grill‘s tables.

Smoked Black Cod

On this occasion SYR had the Smoked Black Cod, for an appetizer. It was served with poached egg, toasted curry couscous cake, shiitake mushroom chips and champagne vinaigrette. I ordered their Classic Beef Tartar served over beef-carpaccio with citrus-caper vinaigrette, sun dried tomatoes & pistachio baked crustini. Superb selections, both!

Classic Beef Tartar

For the main dish I had a Delmonico with Peppercorn Sauce, Tobacco Onion Rings, mixed greens and a marrow bone. SYR had her favorite, the 14oz Ladies Cut with Yukon Gold Potatoes and we both shared the Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes. Again, the artistry (both in the presentation and the perfect, just right, flavors) of the kitchen staff under Chef David’s direction was astounding! But… I still plan to come back on a Thursday evening for the special on my personal favorite the Black Angus Beef.

Delmonico Steak

We washed it all down with a delightful 2006 Baron Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon. For dessert SYR ordered a Caramelized Banana Tart with Vanilla Cream and Bacardi Coconut Sorbet while I had the Warm Chocolate Cake consisting of Molten Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream. She had a coffee, while I sipped a slightly warmed up glass of Luis Royer Cognac XO (European Style!).

All in all a perfect dinner, but… you expect that at Prime Grill.

CS

Prime Grill on Urbanspoon

01
Dec
09

An Afternoon in School


During my school years, I often found myself mentally wandering as I wondered when class would end so I could get on with my more bona-fide major; the pedantic studies of life. Today, an eager student in a class of 40 plus,  like most, I sat there salivating for more, wishing  class would never end! This was the third and last demonstration in the series The Fine Art of Kosher Cooking at De Gustibus School of Good Taste, located on the 8th floor of  the world famous NYC Macy’s, on Broadway and 34th.

Chef David Kolotkin

David Kolotkin, Executive Chef for Prime Grill and Corporate Chef for both Solo and Prime Grill, taught the class today. His warmth, energy and passion for his art dazzled us all.. Chef Kolotkin’s personable charismatic banter and marvelous talents, captivated our interests, as he explained the intricacies of the various dishes he prepared.

We sampled four enchanting culinary creations (brought, cooked and supervised by a mashgiach, directly from Prime Grill). One could clearly hear “oooooh,” “woww,” “heavenly.” and other such cries of delight  throughout the demonstration. The dishes consisted of: Smoked Salmon Mousse Filled “Latkas” (I’m not a fish eater, but I found the taste unbelievably delicious!), Chicken Liver Eclaire, Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb with Celery Puree, Caramelized Onion and Fried Rosemary, for dessert the Chef prepared Baked Apple and Ginger Brown Betty. In short, a feast of ambrosia for the gods! Libation offerings were: Weinstock White by W and  Baron Herzog Syrah. Hardly anything on the menu sounded conventional, nor was it commonplace in taste. As Chef David told one of the attendees, “I’m not a conventional guy!” Conventional or not, it all worked superbly well, a true testimony to Chef Kolotkin’s’s imagination and understanding the subtle nuances of flavor of the various ingredients. Truly exotic and daring, but with such a refined tasting palette, the mix of flavors was sheer artistry.

I’ll share one recipe here; for the other three you’ll have to wait for our – almost ready to go live website - thesupremegourmet.com.

BAKED APPLE AND GINGER BROWN BETTY

Special Equipment
4 5ozs Souffle Ramekins

Struesel

3/4 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup margarine

Method:

1. -In a bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix. Well.
2. -Wash your hands, cut the margarine into the dry ingredients by sifting until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Baked Apple and Ginger

2 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp sugar, plus an additional 4 tbsp
4 Fiji apples, small diced
1 1/2 tbsp All Purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated ginger

Method:

1. -Pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees. lightly grease the ramekin using the margarine.
2. -Pour the 1st 4 tbsp of sugar into a greased ramekin and move it over the margarine by tillting the ramekin.
3. -When the 1st ramekin has an even coat of of margarine and sugar, pour the remaining sugar into the 2nd ramekin. Do the same for the remaining 2 ramekins.
4. -In a bowl, combine the remaining 4 tbsp of sugar and the last 4 ingredients. Stir until combined.
5. -Evenly fill the 4 ramekins with this mixture.
6. -Spoon 2-3 tbspof the streusel on top of the apples.
7. -Bake for 30 minutes until the apples are cooked and the streusel has browned.
8. -This is ready to serve.

Salvatore Rizzo, owns and operates De Gustibus. Its curriculum boasts a vast array of cooking classes in almost every style of cuisine. Sal, with his insight and understanding of cooking, asked Chef David some very interesting questions as did a number of those attending the class. Sal’s smile is infectious and his skillful direction of the class amply enhanced it!

Salvatore Rizzo, posing in front of one of three walls filled with photos of some of the great chefs who lectured at De Gustibus

CS




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