Gabriel Kreuther, the eponymous restaurant from Jean-Georges and The Modern Alum Chef is another example of how fine dining continues to thrive in New York. There, Executive Chef Kreuther and his team craft a luxurious menu with the Chef’s Alsatian influence. The prix-fixe menu offers mouth watering dishes where you can choose between 4, 6 or 9 courses. We chose the former that was enough, especially when considering the amuse that were served or the three variety of breads that accompanied the meal, a different kind after each course: house made Kougelhopf (an Alsatian brioche) with whipped fromage blanc, then the whole grain ficelle with cultured butter, and with the main course, the rosemary buckwheat rolls with whipped pork lardo (I ditched the lardo as butter or even nothing was fine with it). I should mention that the last two breads are from Maison Kayser.
Each dish looked beautiful and we had a succulent meal, but I admit that I could not not compare this place with The Modern that I discovered recently and where the Chef use to work: for the same price point, I have to say that I prefer The Modern. Still, Gabriel Kreuther is a good place to know if you want to have a nice dinner near Bryant Park. Here is what we had:
I first will mention the cocktails: each page of the menu tells a story related to Bryant Park and each cocktail relates to it. But t is not the only thing worth mentioning: the ice in the cocktails contains flowers, specially made for the drink you are ordering. Jodi got the Beehive cocktail, made with apricot, pineapple, lemon and honey, that has the following backstory:
The Park recently installed two beehives on the Northwest corner across the road from Gabriel Kreuther. They are managed by the New York City Beekeepers Association. You can enjoy urban beekeeping classes and might soon be able to enjoy Bryant Park honey.
On my side, I got The Romantic Hero, made with Rittenhouse Rye, Dolin dry vermouth, hibiscus and Lemon, that had a rose in the center of its ice sphere. Its back story was:
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe was a German author who practiced law, studied the classics, and believed in the energetic, artistic individual. One of his best known works was The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774),a novel whose protagonist is viewed as one of the first literary “romantic heroes” since he committed suicide after being scorned by his married lover.
The first amuse was papas fritas with a homemade hot sauce and a roasted tomato tart. It was accompanied by a lime and coconut shot that was unfortunately too thick to get to. But the papas fritas was divine and I could have eaten a dozen of it!
There were not that many vegetarian options on the menu and they gracefully proposed to make a gazpacho for Jodi's appetizer, this cold soup being very good, and quite smooth.
On my side, I went for the hamachi, black truffle and foie gras "mille-feuille": it looked fantastic and was totally different from what I expected. Very creative, the foie gras, rolled in nuts that gave a nice crunch, was paired with a delicious waffle that was a good idea, far from the usual toast. However, I did not smell or taste any truffle...
For her second course, Jodi got the sauerkraut tart. Originally, it is a sturgeon and sauerkraut tart with a caviar mousse line, but they made it completely vegetarian, with corn and tomato confit. The presentation was great as it came in a glass cloche in which it was smoked.
On my side, I went for another foie gras dish: Seared Sullivan county foie gras with mustard seeds, pickled turnip and pearl onion marmalade. This was sublime and I loved the sweetness of the marmalade as well as the texture that the mustard seeds gave to the foie that was melting in my mouth.
For her third course, Jodi got the Castle Valley Mill's polenta, made with poached egg, mushrooms, sunflower seed crumble and a black truffle coulis. It was very good and the smell of black truffle emanating from this dish was divine. In a way, it was like an elevated version of a brunch dish with eggs and polenta!
My third entree was the black Angus beef tenderloin served with roquefort cheese, asparagus, onions and a red wine jus that had beef tongue in it. At first, I thought there was really a tiny piece of roquefort on the plate, but it was in fact hiding behind the asparagus...The meat was quite good, tender and juicy, and the red wine jus superb, but I have to say that the tenderloin at The Modern ruined it for me.
It was followed by a pre-dessert to cleanse our palate: lemon foam with peach and a green tea granita.
Last was dessert. Ethereal, strawberry and herb for Jodi, a dessert that was composed of a coconut panna cotta, an herb sphere and fresh strawberries.
For me, the decadent chocolate caramel, composed of crumble, chocolate mousse and caramel ice cream.
The dessert were just ok. I admit that, although creative, they did not meet my expectations.
After such a feast, they brought us some housemate chocolate, probably from the chocolate store next door owned by the Chef. There was a mint chocolate and a salted caramel chocolate that I devoured...And a very good brownie that was quite moist.
Overall, we had a great meal at Gabriel Kreuther, but, for the same price, you can get a dinner at Le Bernardin or The Modern, even more awarded restaurants. Still, Gabriel Kreuther is a good address to know and, if you go, do not miss their cocktails.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Gabriel Kreuther - 41 W 42 Street, New York, NY 10036