We just got back from a four-day trip to New York City, where I participated in the Good Housekeeping Cook Your Heart Out cook off–more about that soon. The trip happily coincided with my birthday, so we decided to use part of our gift card for a nice dinner at Colicchio & Sons (for the non-Top Chef fans out there, this is the reincarnation of the former Craftsteak, Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio’s anchor restaurant). The full menu is at: Colicchio & Sons
We started off with some drinks at the bar, which were accompanied by a little dish of highly addictive sweet-and-hot glazed pecans and walnuts. The bar itself has a towering, see-through wine room that also serves as a room divider, featuring a bottle of wine that wasn’t quite covered by our gift card, as it ran $3200 a bottle. We skipped that and went with some house Sauvignon Blanc.
Park view from the bar:
We then moved on to the dining room where our meal began with an amuse bouche of sweet corn soup, served in shot glasses. Tasty and sweet, with a little pico de gallo garnish. We ordered our first courses and for this occasion I did not share with my spousal vegetarian–I went mega-carnivore with the sweetbreads, which were served with honey-glazed onions and sherry vinegar. Sweetbreads are my most-adored form of animal protein, and I haven’t had them in years. If you haven’t tried them give them a go at least once. Yes, they are thymus glands. Yes, they are super delicious. They were a bit over salted for my palate, but they were perfectly cooked with a crisp exterior and a silky interior:
Harrison went with the asparagus salad with a sheep’s milk ricotta panna cotta, and it was really beautiful and fresh, with white and green asparagus:
Please note that his asparagus was garnished with fresh purslane! Our first course came out with a hot little iron skillet full of butter-and-salt glazed fresh rolls that reminded me of Thanksgiving. Of course they came with additional butter:
It’s hard to beat fresh bread with butter, and this was no grainy, healthy stuff, it was fluffy bread that was seriously enriched with egg. We continued to nosh on the rolls when we received our main courses, and I had opted to continue my carnivore evening with the Hudson Valley rabbit, roasted with tiny chanterelles, fresh little red and orange carrots (clever to serve with rabbit? maybe), and accented with hibiscus. The loin was wrapped in caul fat to form a roulade shape, and there was a little “rack” of rabbit with frenched bones. Seriously, who gets that job? I enjoyed every bite of it but I will admit that, local or not, the tiny size of the rib rack gave me a bit of pause. Here is the delicious and guilt- inducing baby bunny, as plated:
The tart swirl of hibiscus added a nice contrast to the sweet carrots and rabbit. It was fantastic, despite the guilt. Harrison had the sweet corn agnolotte with summer truffles and an accent of huitlacoche paste, dabbed on the side of the plate. Huitlacoche is corn smut, and while it is really, really ugly it is also slightly smoky and aromatic, with a mossy/mineral finish. This dish is served as a starter or a main, and it was fantastically good (yes, I did steal a bite):
No, we did not skip dessert. We ordered two and shared, and the “little chocolate donuts” that John Belushi ate as a power breakfast could not compare to the freshly-made, sugar-dusted chocolate cream donuts with strawberry jam and mint ice cream with mint brittle. Awe inspiring. So good I would fly back just for these:
Also tasty, yet a bit more pedestrian, was the blueberry and lemon curd napoleon with olive oil ice cream:
All in all, a wonderful meal and a great treat. As we paid the bill we were presented with two beautifully wrapped corn muffins, which made a nice hotel breakfast the next day. The service at Colicchio & Sons is attentive and meticulous but not intrusive, and the food was generally nicely done. If you are in the Chelsea area, check it out. There is a less-expensive Tap Room as well, that has a great-looking wood fired oven. All I ever wanted for my birthday was a sparkly pony (live, not cooked) and some nicely done thymus gland. Still waiting for the pony.
Thanks for reading,