This post is about one of the best culinary experience I ever had! Yes I know: this is a bold statement, but when you will read this, I am sure you will want to go there! Hopefully...
So, everybody who loves shows about food knows who Tom Colicchio is. If you do not know, let me tell you: he is the mean judge on Top Chef! Tom, please be nicer!
So I went to Colicchio and Sons thinking that if I had a bad food experience, it would be Karma!
The restaurant is located next to two great places in NYC: Morimoto (Chef Morimoto) and Del Posto (Chef Mario Batali). When you enter, you arrive in the Tap room with its wood-burning oven. You can in fact either eat in the Tap room or in the dining room. While we were waiting for our table, there was this guy who ordered a burger. When the burger came, I started to drool! The bun looked like a brioche bread and the patty seemed juicy. It was served with homemade potato chips. Based on the discussion the patron had with the barman, I understood that it was delicious! I really need to go try this at some point!
Anyway, we had a reservation at the dining room. The two rooms are separated by an impressive wine cellar wall, going from the bottom to the top of the very high ceilings. As we went there for my wife Jodi's birthday, they personalized the menu (as you can see on the photo above). The menu was mouth watering; they offer two tasting menu but it has to be for the entire table. We picked our dishes. What was amazing is the way the waitress described each dish. Usually, they will just tell you what the ingredients are. At Colicchio and Sons, it was not the case: she described the dishes with adjectives so well picked that it made me drool a second time! There was also a nice synchronization of the placement or removal of the plates from the table, given some elegance to the experience.They started first with bringing us a small cup of white asparagus consomme that contained also lemon and chives. It was served cold. I love when restaurants do that, not because it is free, but because it prefigures a nice experience and usually prepares your palate. It was very good, with clean flavors.
Then, they brought the bread: it was a freshly made brioche bread with salt on top. The smell of it was great and the taste divine, with or without butter! I could have eaten the entire loaf! I bet this is the same brioche recipe they serve with the burger...
For the appetizer, I decided to try the roasted sweetbreads.
Sweetbreads are the thymus glands or pancreas of calves, lambs, and piglets. Gross, no? Look, I saw so many shows where people were enjoying it that I thought there would not be a better place than this one to try!
At Colicchio and Sons, they serve it roasted, with honey onions (delish) and bacon-sherry vinegar. I enjoyed it: it was crispy on the outside and very tender inside, close to melting in my mouth. But I did not enjoy it to the point where I would die for it! It is not like foie gras or snails!
Then, I shared the ribeye for two with my friend Peter who is always ready to share a porterhouse with me when in a steakhouse: each time there is a gigantic piece of meat for two, we team up.
We ordered it medium rare. They told us ahead of time that it would take a bit to cook, but in fact, with the appetizers, we did not notice. They first brought the piece of meat on a large piece of wood and then cut it for us (it was cut, split and plated in the kitchen, not in front of us).
They served it with a hen of the woods (mushroom), roasted potatoes and cream of spinach. The meat was terrific: tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. However, I did not really like the spinach. I prefer them creamier and less bitter. They also brought the bone that our friends enjoyed playfully.
I could also try the halibut.
It was served with truffled celeriac (variety of celery) agnolotti and verjus glazed rutabaga (root). The fish was awesome: silky and moist. The agnolotti were also very good and you could taste hints of truffle. This was a succulent dish.
Then was time to order dessert. As it was Jodi's birthday, they brought her a cupcake with a candle (no singing, thank God!). They also brought some hazelnut shortbread that were fantastic.
Of course, it was not enough for us: we had to finish this incredible meal with desserts!
So we picked the banana cream donuts.
The donuts were divine! I just would have liked more! They added a nice touch to the plate by writing "Happy Birthday Jodi" in chocolate.
We also shared a brown sugar pie. It was served warm, with some homemade vanilla ice cream and a jelly that contained alcohol (weird texture I have to say). I think it was the last drool of the evening! It was so good. I was scared at first that it would be too sweet, but it was not the case. However, it had this incredible buttery flavor...yummy!
So I hope you understand now why I was enthusiastic about Colicchio and Sons! This was an amazing dinner, with a great service that almost gave the impression we were dining at a friend! At least until they brought the check. Yes, it is not cheap, but it is fine dining and worth it!
Enjoy (I did)!