I was looking at restaurants with Michelin stars in New York, when I noticed The Clocktower, a restaurant located in the New York Edition Hotel, in front of Madison Square Park. I admit that you really need to know that the restaurant is on the first floor, as when you enter into the hotel, you cannot see it right away. But, when you are in the main dining room, you are amazed by the beautiful decor, with its crown molding, paintings, and of course the big fireplace in the back.
Food wise, we were there for a treat, and know that, if you are vegetarian, you need to ask for the vegetarian menu, that is quite small, but with interesting dishes. I am not sure why they did not simply include these dishes on the main menu: not the best way to make vegetarians feel welcome! They started off by bringing us their homemade sourdough bread with buttermilk butter: the bread was fantastic, but so hot that I burnt my fingers trying to pull it apart.
I could not resist ordering their Cold Fashioned, their interpretation of an old fashioned, made with coffee infused Rittenhouse Rye, Foro Amaro liqueur, Fernet Branca (bitter amaro liqueur), orange bitters, demerara syrup and orange oil. It was quite good, with a nice citrusy flavor and a slight bitterness.
For my appetizer, I decided to try their beef tartare instead of the foie gras, as It has been a while since I had a good beef tartare and I was thinking that, in such place, it must be fantastic. It was made with dry aged Creekstone beef, pickled wild mushrooms, soy nuts and some penny bun biscuits that had the shape of mushrooms. The presentation was nice, but I was expecting a quail egg on it, a raw egg being a sort of signature on such dish. It was quite good though, a nice interpretation on a classic dish.
For her entree, Jodi settled for the chestnut gnocchi, served with a lentil puree, tarragon butter and hen of the woods mushrooms. It was a small dish, more an appetizer than an entree, with a beautiful presentation. The gnocchi were light and soft, and you could not really tell that it was made with chestnuts, that was perfect for Jodi who does not like chestnuts.
On my side, I ordered the Long Island Duck Breast, that was served with an orange consommé, this time I guess, the interpretation of duck a l'orange. This was succulent: the duck was very good, the skin being slightly crispy and delightfully fatty.
Last was dessert and we chose their signature: the After Eight, made of chocolate mousse, mint marshmallow and Branca Menta ice cream. This was sublime: very chocolatey, it had a marshmallow in the center and every bite had a hint of mint. The presentation was also superb, like a piece of art on a plate.
With the bill, they even brought us some raspberry cookies that were good, a nice touch to end a meal.
This was a great dinner: no wonder why The Clocktower ended up getting a Michelin star! This is well deserved.
Enjoy (I did)!
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The Clocktower - 5 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010