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Volver - First impressions

I didn't see him either.

May 05, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Why isn't Jungsik receiving more attention?

I agree. Our second time there, the captain had a bottle of champagne waiting for us at the table by the window in the quieter, smaller room. Last time I was there, a buddy and I had some of the Armand Rousseau on the menu, and were amazed of how attentive/interested the sommelier was in how we liked it, as well as remembering what we had ordered our last few times there off the list.

Food is always stellar, but the service keeps us coming back

May 04, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Volver - First impressions

Honestly, its hard to say. My wife and I tend to be quick eaters (we did 41 degrees in Barcelona in just over 2.5 hours), and we were finished in just about 1.5. I think they read us perfectly though and timed our pacing accordingly and given their efforts towards great service, I'd be surprised if they rushed you out in an unreasonable time. It should bear mention that there was plenty of room for other diners when we were there at 5:15pm and left just before 7pm.

Apr 29, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia
1

Volver - First impressions

I agree - at the pre-theater price point, I think its a definite go. Having tried the pre-theater (and as you can see above, thoroughly enjoying it....) I am still hesitant to do the full performance especially considering only 3-4 courses. I usually always go for the longest menu , but I think in this case, for the price point, the shorter is where the value is....my two cents

Apr 29, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Volver - First impressions

My wife and I went to Volver for the pre-theater menu ($75 per + 20%) since she had some finals the next day and didn't have time for the full performance menu. Space is beautiful, and food for the most part varies from very good to great - though, from a value perspective, I believe the pre-theater menu is the better bet (considering only an additional 3-4 constitute the larger menu)

Prior to our arrival, someone called to go over a few "pre-dining" questions - asking questions like mode of arrival, and if "there was anything they can do to elevate our experience". Nice touch, but lots of uncomfortable silence after we politely said....no, not really? :-)

The one strange element was that we referenced my wife has a dairy allergy, but were then asked again by the captain at service if any dietary restrictions he should be made aware of, at which point we explained the details of her allergy again. No big deal, just some new restaurant "kinks" to work out. We had the same experience with the wine pairing - even though I had the grand wine pairing, and she opted out, they paired the first course with wine, and I figured out when they were attempting to pour her second glass that they were mistaken. Again, little to fret about, and both were handled gracefully.

The service is exceptional, despite the opening kinks, and the restaurant's team has done a wonderful job to train all the staff members. It replicates a true "fine dining" environment, while still remaining somewhat casual (two of the parties when we were there were wearing button down shirts with jeans) The only issue we had was with the ridiculously small wine pours on the tasting - though with complimentary champagne in the beginning for my wife and another wine that the sommelier opted to let her try from the tasting, the best of intentions shone through. The sommelier seemed nervous (we asked which prefecture the sake came from, and she said she wasn't sure but immediately came back with the answer and some additional information which we found not only redeeming but demonstrating a desire to answer our question sincerely and quickly)

Anyway, on to the food. The initial try of small bites was interesting - with some caviar and creme fraiche (good, but nothing out of the ordinary); some cured meets including iberico ham and guanciale (good), and, believe it or not, my favorite dish of the night and one of the best bites I have had all year. Unfortunately, I didn't write down the specifics of how they did it, but it was deviled duck liver mousse, with the mousse piped to look like a yolk, and the "egg white" - well, its not an egg white (IIRC, it had strong citrus notes, but I don't remember the exact prep without having my notes handy) and Pedro Ximenez gel. It was literally the perfect bite.

Tsjiki Market Fish with Horseradish and Green Apple Snow - Very fresh fish, and very tasty, though the prep felt a little "wet" to me with the sauce and the snow, slightly "drowning" the beautiful slabs of fresh fish. Maybe a personal preference and probably splitting hairs as the dish was tasty

Cereal Dish (white asparagus milk with rice flakes, quail eggs, chicken oysters, truffle and thyme marshmallows) - supposedly a play on Lucky Charms, this is the most out there the menu gets, but for some reason, it totally worked for me and was an interesting, tasty and thought provoking take on savory cereal.

Living Garden with goat cheese dirt, pistachio puree, duck skin crumble, almond milk crisps, carrots and curried raisins, looked really dry, but upon combining perfectly worked as a tasty and well balanced salad.

Veta La Palma, with Bomba Rice, Shrimp, Fumet, Espelette, Seasonal Fish and Nasturtium - my favorite entree of the night, the seafood broth base was awesome and made the dish. A more traditional prep, for the most part, than a lot of the prior dishes, but a delicious and super flavorful expression of the type of cuisine you would expect from eating at his other establishments, yet elevated and perhaps bolder in flavor.

Wagyu - Cooked on Embers, Beet Root Puree, Salsa Criolla, Beet Root Crema and Nury Potatoes - Look, the beef was definitely high quality, but it was not the best wagyu prep I've had (personally, felt mine was slightly overdone) and the accompaniments were tasty but I didn't fully understand the whole combination. All in all, steak was still extremely tasty, but I had higher hopes considering the pedigree. I do think the dish has potential and hopefully, the temperature issues will be resolved.

Desserts in my opinion were unremarkable.

All in all, I really liked, but perhaps, did not love, the whole experience. It was quite good, but only two of the dishes (one entree, and one amuse) landed in the amazing category for me. That being said, for $75, I thought it was a great deal all things considered, and believe they will continue to get better and refine the dishes and preps even further. Since the waiter, as well as some other preliminary reviews seem to suggest the best dishes are almost all on the theater menu, I don't know that I would jump for the performance menu and associated pricing, until the restaurant was firing on all cylinders. But do go, book a pre-theater tasting, put away any preconceived notions of the place being too expensive or too "not Philadelphia", and have a great and enjoyable meal

Petruce et al. newly opened on Walnut in Philly

We went last night as well for opening night - thought all in all, it was really promising.

Loved the CHICKEN with Charred Cabbage, Scallions and Egg Yolk sauce on the "et al" portion of the menu. Lamb Breast was nice on the large plates as well, but didn't think the scallops, despite good, were anything special or different from the thousands of iterations around the city.

For the small to medium plates....
We didn't have the onion soup, but shared the beets (perfectly fine, but plays on pretty typical flavor combinations we've had many times before); carrots with bagna caudal and pistachios (great flavor combinations but a few carrots seemed to be cooked unevenly - chalk it up to opening night :-) ) ; chicken liver parfait with rhubarb and sourdough (absolutely delicious and visually stunning - a must order); the mushrooms with soubise and marrow (which I loved and counted as one of our favorite dishes); the octopus with rice grits, field peas and hot sauce (thoroughly enjoyed); lasagna (somewhat out of place on the menu but still tasty, if a little too crispy on outside for our liking); cannelloni with cauliflower and taleggio (our least favorite on the menu- outside too crispy, and plating a little jumbled);

Desserts were tasty (tried the Roasted Pineapple and Lemon Meringue from above) but the Soft Serve Vanilla Ice Cream with Cocoa Nibs and Malt Syrup was unreal. I know, soft serve ice cream? But it was the best soft serve I have had (as I have never been a fan) and was a perfect ending to the meal, and proof that simplicity sometimes just works.

Wine list well priced but very limited (hoping this will expand as time goes on).

Looking forward to seeing the restaurant evolve and definitely a great new addition to the dining scene.

Mar 22, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Avance

food was great - one of the best additions to Philadelphia in a long time and much better IMHO than the prior tenant. Go with tasting menu with wine pairings, go with a cocktail or two to start, and be glad to see Philadelphia get a true fine dining institution with loads of potential to compete (and I think, based on my most recent meal) exceed the likes of Lacroix (though it is definitely less formal with a mixed dress in the dining room)

I ate alone, and enjoyed just under three hours of many hits and few misses...

Laurel, new BYOB on EPx from Top Chef contestant Nicholas Elmi

We tried it last week. Felt it had promise, and loved seeing Elmi delivering dishes to the table.

That being said, none of the dishes really meshed to us and while the dishes sounded inspired, they never really came together on the plate.

Also, service, while well intentioned, was an issue, with our table being "lapped" according to our waiter; with both two-tops next to us getting their 2nd and 3rd courses (and cleared) before we even got our 2nd, even though we sat down first, and finished first course ten minutes before either table did. Waiter seemed to laugh it off but it meant about 45 minutes of no food on weeknight.

Hoping for the best, and will try again in a few months after they have worked the kinks out...

Big decision! Agricola or Mistral?

MISTRAL without question. Interesting and delicious food (many hits, some misses). Outside of a decent flatbread and (used to) have Pappy Van Winkle by glass , Agricola is a great concept that to me has fallen flat. Service, especially in bar, leaves a lot to be desired

Nov 26, 2013
gwh912 in New Jersey

Destination Dining Outside NYC

Not trying to be argumentative, but living in NJ and splitting balance of time between Philadelphia and NY - I wouldn't recommend 90 acres or Bernards Inn as a destination restaurant.

Both are good, especially considering other local options. Maybe even destination worthy within their respective areas of NJ.

But coming from NYC, I think you'd be slightly disappointed in the food. Not that its bad; but in relative terms...

I second Northfolk or Blue Hill. Or Basement Bistro (iirc?) if you are super lucky or willing to make a weekend of it. Or head up to Maine and do White Barn Inn and Arrows ?(though I didn't care too much for latter my two times there, I am in minority)

Sep 12, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Marigold - no menus

it wasn't as good as the first time I went. Some dishes were great, some were trying to be so much but just flopped.

I don't understand why there wasn't enough surprise on the old menu when you chose a few items and the stream of amuse (to me, highlight of meal) seemed to keep things plenty interesting

I will also say on last visit - noise was way too loud

Still like the restaurant, love the value, but seems like a step in wrong direction

Sep 12, 2013
gwh912 in Philadelphia

JUNI

Friend and I went here before the new Sushi Nakazawa - again, unfortunately still in office so limited time for a review - but wanted to get a few thoughts out.

Truthfully, the main issues with JUNI involve its "packaging". Being touted as vegetable-forward is deceiving at best, and to be candid, this new fine dining establishment doesn't reinvent the wheel entirely - but all that said, its still really freaking good.

Amuse started a bit strange when me and my buddy were asked to split three amuse bouche - with one on each of our plates and one in the middle to "fight" over

(Cold) Foie Gras with Frog Hollow Peach Tartare, Pistachio Dust and Housemade Brioche - 4/5 - delicious and perfectly done, although nothing we have never seen before. I'm a sucker for peach and the beautiful foie made it all the better

Haas avocado – peekytoe crab – californian caviar – coriander

A reiteration of flavor combinations I've seen before, the addition of perfectly cooked quail eggs on the edge of the plate, and the perfect execution of an albeit tired theme, still worked for me and was thoroughly enjoyable 4/5

summer squash – langoustine – naval orange reduction – marigold

Langoustine was great, and addition of squash blossoms (I believe?) inventive, but I found the reduction and squash combination a bit sweet.
3.5

anise hyssop – grimaud duck – chef’s garden candy beets – hibiscus jus

I will say, outright, that for traditional "fine dining", especially with appetizers, that despite delicious, seemed to stay within the lines a bit too much for my liking - the entrées were spectacular.

This is a great duck dish - super flavorful, and unfortunately, I don't remember quite enough about it, as however it good it was, it was overshadowed by the venison to follow

quinoa – veal tenderloin – burdock – mizuna – hon shimejis

I will go out and say it. After being served the duck, we had resolved that this was a talented kitchen (plating as beautiful as the best in NYC) that needed to just think a bit more outside the box. I'm okay with traditional, especially when it tastes this good, but it wouldn't hurt to show us something, within the premise of restaurant, that exemplifies a willingness to take a little risk - or do something a bit different.

This venison dish did just that. Pickled hon shimejis, black truffle emulsion, perfectly cooked veal tenderloin, I have to put it out there - this is one of the best entrees I've had in awhile (even though the veal could have used a tiny bit more salt for my liking) - The earthiness, and umami in this dish is crazy - and fitting as a perfect cap to the meal, I would come back just for this dish

I think, with a few more risks taken, this can join the ranks of the top echelon of the better, refined, fine dining in the city

Langoustine with

Crab Salad with Avocado and Quail Eggs

Aug 22, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

[Sushi Nakazawa] Anyone to join me on Sep. 6 (Fri)?

I went last night for the opening. At work, so I don't have time to write up a detailed review, but a few key items to mention -

Definitely a new top contender for great sushi, despite a few missteps. Sardine (from Oregon) was definitely the overall favorite from the meal (and one of my favorites ever) with pieces like King Salmon, Scallop, Sweet Shrimp, and various pieces of toro also top notch. Actually, I had one of, if not, the best toro hand roll I've ever had.

A lot of the shellfish was cracked open right at that counter - full fish broken down and sliced right in front of you, which I think added something to the overall experience. You were able to choose your sea urchin (somewhat gimmicky) but an ode to the quality and freshness of the ingredients (though for some reason, we much preferred the uni from 15 EAST and found the iron/metallic flavor and texture of the version here slightly offputting)

All in all though, it was a great meal, and if a few of the rough edges can be worked out, this could be a contender for one of the top spots in the city.

Sparkling Wines, Wines, and Sake - as well as flights of the three - are available - we did a sake pairing and although we enjoyed it, the pacing was strange as we had three glasses for the first three pieces and then noticeable gaps in between.

We ordered a few additional pieces but were cut off at three as it appeared, since they were breaking most of the fish down to order, that they cut us off. Oh well

Get there before it becomes totally nuts.

Aug 22, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Uncle Boons

I thought it was great (agree with below posters that crab dip mediocre and to be avoided) but the chicken liver curry, betel leaves, and green curry (been a long week and can't remember details) were all fantastic.

Jul 02, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

'Craft' - What makes it so good, so popular and constantly referred to by foodies?

I have always loved Craft for what it is - incredible ingredients, cooked simply, but perfectly. My only gripe is that the prices are somewhat high, but I think again, it goes back somewhat to the quality of product being used.

Can't answer why it doesn't at least have one star (domestically) as I think it is better than a number of those...that being said, if I were in charge of Michelin on this side of the pond, I wouldn't be tossing stars to every reasonably good restaurant in NYC; especially since many of the one stars, to me, are operating at very different levels. It takes away some of the distinction IMHO

Jul 02, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Between Annisa and Blue Hill ... which would you choose?

Annisa by a decent margin.

Jun 01, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Mistral, Princeton

Went tonight for dinner. All in all - a lot of promise, and going to be another great addition to Princeton dining scene (and steps away from new Agricola) To be candid, it has the potential to be my favorite restaurant in Central NJ that I can comfortably wear jeans to - but it does have a few kinks to work out

The menu and ambiance truly feels like a more casual Elements. Many difference influences on the menu, with some dishes (such as Octopus with patatas bravas screaming of Spain or the Mediterranean) while others ("kimchi pancakes" or "korean short ribs") more Asian inspired.

Best part - its byob, shaving my typical elements bill in half.

The pros

Excellent

Clam Chowder Mushi - Wow - this was great. All of the flavors you'd expect in clam chowder, but complimented with "smoked potato" and razor clams. A perfect example of elevating cuisine with different techniques but with a purpose

Korean Short Ribs with Morel Kimchi - Best Dish of the night (for me) by a long shot. Unexpectedly simple - but a total knockout dish with an amazing flavor profile.

Onsen Egg with Asparagus, Fragola, and Roasted Maitakes- A close second for best dish of the night. Soft poached onsen egg - with the earthiness of mushrooms and spring notes of the crispy asparagus - a true comfort dish, somehow elevated.

Very Good

Fluke Crudo with Tomatillo Jelly, Avocado Puree, Szechuan Pepper (I think - getting hard to remember?) Loved the balance and freshness of this dish. It reminded me of the type of raw dishes that I've grown to love at Momofoku Ko - where the fish is the star but still complemented by aggressive flavors not typically associated with raw seafood dishes.

Good

Bucatini with Soft Shell Crab - My wife liked this much more than I did but it was a simple pasta, with some fresh soft shell crab - this dish was most like what I had expected from the restaurant - which upon booking my reservation, I had assumed was going to be simple, Mediterranean flavors. Only complaint that it was served somewhat lukewarm

Chicken Yakitori - Not what I expected (no "stick" served") and to be candid, I can't fairly evaluate as I do not like orange flavors with savory foods, but my wife said it was good, not great. I took her word for it for the most part but tried the chicken and felt it was fine.

Not so great

Octopus with Patatas Bravas - Just having returned from an eating tour of Spain, I am probably (unfairly so) critical of this type of dishes. Unfortunately, the potato component was more like a latke; which would be fine, if the spicier sauce that unites patatas bravas worked. The octopus was inconsistent, with some pieces tasty and others way too tough - and the sauce never came together. We both kept detecting a really off-putting metallic taste to the sauce, which made the whole dish taste medicinal. The dish has potential but didn't work in its current iteration for me.

Sweetbread Canneloni - Bland sweetbreads. Chewy, gummy Pasta. A rare total miss on an otherwise delicious menu

Desserts were tasty but not yet memorable - favorite was Rhubarb tart with Buttermilk Ice Cream which was nicely balanced.

Only gripe was that they don't accept AMEX. So despite my glowing review (yes, it is a worth a 2nd and 3rd (....) visit, I will stomp my feet in frustration that they don't accept AMEX

So.....go. It looks like they have plans to put a fireplace in the outside area and with only 45 inside seats, it may not be easy to get in to in the next few weeks

May 24, 2013
gwh912 in New Jersey

Tickets vs. Cinc Sentits + other Barcelona restaurant questions

Thanks! Looking forward to making it back to Spain once work slows down a bit

Apr 01, 2013
gwh912 in Spain/Portugal

Late Night Eats before flight...

Hounds,

I'll be in your great city from Wednesday-Friday this week, and the boards have been very helpful in helping me craft the few meals I have free, with August and Stella! in the works, and a few of the good ol' standbys

That being said, I have a 5am flight on Saturday morning - and expect to be out already on Friday until 12-1am easy with some colleagues. I initially intended on getting a hotel but thought maybe $300 would be better spent elsewhere, especially since I am leaving for airport around 3am the next morning.

So, my question is this - is there a place with good food, cocktails/wine list, etc - where I can snack at bar until 2:30-3am until I have to leave for flight? I am staying at the JW Marriott in FQ I believe and will likely want to be in the general area, though worst case, I can always take a cab.

Gastropub type food and atmosphere would be great, but really just focused on good food and drink

Thanks

Apr 01, 2013
gwh912 in New Orleans

Tickets vs. Cinc Sentits + other Barcelona restaurant questions

Have you looked at 41 degrees? (experiences menu)

Capping off a trip which included amazing meals of Martin Berasetagui, Arzak, El Cellar De Can Roca, Asador Extebarri, Alkimia, and more - 41 degrees remains the most memorable and consistent (amazing feat considering it ends up being over 50 unique tastes)

Best meal of my life, perhaps.

On a different note altogether, we hated Quimet and Quimet. While it was slightly skewed, having come from San Sebastian, nothing we ate at Q&Q was great - and the shrimp appetizer was bland and low quality - and the mushroom croquettes cold in the middle.

Feb 18, 2013
gwh912 in Spain/Portugal

STEER CLEAR LIST - Worst Meal You've Had in the Last Six Months

Interesting. Breslin remains my favorite brunch in the city - between delicious pastry basket, lamb burger, and any of the egg or pancake based renditions we have had, it always satisfies..

Feb 18, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

The Frog and the Peach

unfortunately, food is nothing special for the prices (not bad, per se, just not memorable) and with better restaurants in surrounding areas/towns, its not worth the hassle

Dec 09, 2012
gwh912 in New Jersey

Looking for excellent Omakase - Already done 15 East

still believe 15 East is the best.

Ichimura (within Brushstroke) may be your next best bet.

Dec 09, 2012
gwh912 in Manhattan

Veritas

and the wine list is as awesome as ever....

Oct 26, 2012
gwh912 in Manhattan

Underground Supper Club on November 11th?

Dave Santos is opening a restaurant in West Village so I believe Um Segredo is suspended, for a few weeks at least

Oct 23, 2012
gwh912 in Manhattan

Jungsik should get 3 Michelin stars

Ate at Atera last night and Jungsik tonight (this is my third time at the latter)

Hard to compare since they are so different in experience but I will say Jungsik keeps getting better and the Wagyu course and the smoked pork jowel were two of the best things I've eaten this year

Sep 13, 2012
gwh912 in Manhattan

Hitting The Revel this weekend...

American Cut is great cut - skip dessert and save some room for "tacos de lengua" from distrito cantina

Sep 13, 2012
gwh912 in New Jersey

New Menu Format at Elements

So, after abandoning our efforts to make our 9:15 reservation at Lincoln in NYC, we decided to stay relatively local and check out the new Menu format at Elements in Princeton.

Now with a 4 course, 6 course, and Chef's Tasting menu, the experience in my opinion has been truly elevated. You can still order any of the courses a la carte (although the prices are pretty high to do so), but with the smallest of the menus at $69 and the larger six course menu at $89, those appeared to be the better route. I imagine the Chef's tasting is similar to the one they usually would do in the kitchen.

Before getting to the food, Justin has really developed an awesome wine list with an amazing depth and some awesome values, especially for a restaurant program in NJ. With options for someone looking to splurge (Sine Qua Non at $495 or the venerable Domaine Romanee-Conti '02 Grands Echezeaux at $1900), I was more impressed by some of the better valued and more obscure offerings, with about fifteen options from Corsica, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Provence as well as some inexpensive bottles blessed with some more bottle age, like the '90 Villa de Vetrice, Chianti Rufina at $89. After a glass of bubbly, my wife decided she was going to be drinking much more than a glass, so we opted to try and pair a white wine by the glass for the first few lighter courses, and then move into a half bottle of red.

Trying to peruse the options for white wine's by the glass, we were offered 1994, Schloss Schonborn Kabinett by the glass and easily accepted. With our meal was off to a great start, we decided on the six course menu.

First noticeable change was after the usual bread assortment, we had three different amuse bouches. While the details are a little hazy, I know it began with a perfect raw tuna sashimi dish, followed by a really tasty vegetable egg roll, and ending with a Squid Ink Croquette with Mizuna (our waiter stumbled over this last one, but I will tell you - it was delicious)

HAMACHI SASHIMI, Japanese Plum, Macadamia Panna Cotta, Radish

Like most of the raw preparations at Elements, this was great, with enough texture and crunch from the radish and the plums to balance out the delicacy of the sea food. While Hamachi would not be my first choice, preferring crudo preparations with a more flavorful fish, the balance of these flavors made for a perfect introduction to the 6 course meal

SOURDOUGH AGNOLOTTI, Chicken of the Woods, Yogurt, Pimpernel

My favorite dish of the night, this dish was entirely unique and something I had never had before. The tartness of the sourdough in the aglonotti, combined with the richness of the mushrooms and Yogurt, made for a memorable and raveworthy pasta preparation, demonstrating the kitchen's talent in tasting aggressive flavor profiles and combining them in a way that somehow just works. After licking my plate clean, I hoped to bum some of her leftovers but she had beat me to it.

MADAI, Arugula, Oyster Mushrooms, Puffed Rice

Another great exercise in texture, this fish preparation, coated with puffed rice, and paired with oyster mushrooms was a close second. The mushrooms were cooked to perfection, and in many ways, were the show stopper, but having the puffed rice over the fish to provide that textural contrast almost served as a foil for crispy fish skin. They poured a sardine broth tableside, further amplifying the umami flavors, while no single component overwhelmed the dish

At this point, we switched to the half bottle of red, enjoying a bottle of 1993 Ridge Montebello ($120), which opened up beautifully.

STONYBROOK MEADOWS DUROC PORK, Peekytoe Crab, cabbage, New Zealand Spinach

Elements has always been great at cooking pork. With a crab foam on top, though, and the bitter cabbage greens on the bottom, this was my least favorite of the courses, with the cabbage, for me, overshadowing the crab, and the pork, while beautifully cooked, somehow lost in the middle. I know my wife liked it, and others appeared to be enjoying it as well, and it was a fine dish - but it didn't impress me as much as the rest of the meal did (tall order)

LAVA LAKE LAMB, beet, saskatoon berry, black trumpets

A simple preparation, the lamb was beautifully cooked to a medium rare, and a perfect end to the savory components of our meal.

For desserts, my wife opted for the KUNIK with Whipped Honey, herbs and anise bread, and out came an unbelievable slab of aged goat cheese, with its accompaniments, for a simple, but delectable plated cheese course (judging by the one taste I was allowed, this is something that for cheese lovers may be worth passing up dessert for....)

I had the OPEN FACED SWEET CORN ICE CREAM SANDWICH with Peaches, lemon thyme, black pepper, and caramel, which proved to be innovative and not overly sweet. My only issue with it was of my own fault, having paired it with the 1998 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes which ended up being too sweet for the dessert.

Ending with some petit fours (including a scrumptious chocolate chip brownie, coconut macaron, oatmeal cream cake, and a chocolate chip cookie dough ball, we settled the bill and began the trip back home.

All in all, an excellent meal with great wines, at a great value for what you get. Naturally, at the price point with these new menus almost directly matching up to Nicholas's three course and 7 course meals, the comparisons will once again begin.

To me? Elements is fresh, new, and always changing - while some preps may be better than others week to week, the new menu format, combined with the amuses is more exciting. The overall experience with an awesome staff and much less pretentiousness, a far superior wine and cocktail program, and a beautiful yet relaxed atmosphere, pushes Elements over the top. Having always really enjoyed my meals at Nicholas, I've left the last few perfectly satisfied, but a tad uninspired. Walking out of Elements last night, I was taking the whole meal in and felt excited about the new menu format and the potential of things to come, relishing the sourdough aglonotti and the croquette amuse, knowing albeit bittersweet, that in a few weeks, these dishes would be replaced with other new and exciting options.

That ability to keep things fresh and new is what keeps us coming back.

Sep 08, 2012
gwh912 in New Jersey

Chow Find - Italian "Donuts" (Krapfen?) in Freehold!!!!!!!!

guilty!

Sep 06, 2012
gwh912 in New Jersey

Momofoku Ko- Lunch Reservation Cancelled Last Minute ; 12:10 tomorrow (Friday 09/07)

any takers, it should be listed now......

Sep 06, 2012
gwh912 in Manhattan