Went to Benu - I was very impressed, and got my money's worth. Was paying for an ex-gf, so did not want to spring for the tasting menu - plus I was not hungry enough for all those courses, so we settled on 3 savory a piece from the ala carte menu, plus a shared dessert. amuse bouche > Ginger baloon in pickle juice with melons. Tasted good, baloon is a little big. Course 1> Ex - Saucisson of beef w/ crispy maitake mushrooms Me - Crispy veal sweetbreads Both very very good. Sweetbreads had more "breading" on them than I generally prefer, but the seasoning was right on and the pickles and sauce were quite good. Course 2> WINNER Ex - Rigatoni w/ Sea Cucumber, Oxtail, and few other accouterments... Me - Risotto w/ black truffle, corn, lavage, and uni The rigatoni was house made, perfect pasta with a very rich, complex sauce. Stellar. The Risotto was one of the ten best plates I've ever had. Made up for the sub-par uni risotto at LB. THe key difference was that the uni was chilled and resting atop the risotto, rather than strained through a tamis and integrated. The flavor at LB just got lost. Course 3> Ex - Duck - a little meh. It might have been done sous vide. The fat didn't really render off and the skin was not crispy. Me - "pre sale" Lamb. Very good. And the baby carrots served with it were off the chart. THe server explained "pre sale" refers to a french concept that lambs raised near the coast did not require as much salt because of the salinity of the foods they consumed (or something like that). Dessert> Shared Chocolate Ganache, Fuille de Brick, Banana Ice Cream, Caramel, Ginger, and some crunchy stuff. HOT DAMN. Dessert was fantastic. I could have eaten three of them. Overall, great dinner. The service held it back a little. Bad pour on my beer, the ex was a little unhappy that they would not pour her 1/2 glasses of wine (she's a litghtweight who likes variety), no offer for a second beer when I finished during course 2. I was asked to sign a release for a picture that was taken (with me in the background) for a Conde Naste publication. Hopefully I will make the cut.
post #5116 of 27357
9/24/10 at 3:18am