Friday, September 28, 2007

First Taste - Ardeo Restaurant

If you've known me for over a year or so now, you've probably had a drink or two with me at Nanny O'Brien's (when Nannys didn't suck, when it still smelled horrible, and when you couldn't breathe for a week after because the smoke was so thick - oh those were the days!).

Furthermore, if you know me really well, you've probably stumbled out of Nannys with me, and noticed a little restaurant next door called Ardeo. I've always been curious about Ardeo - but never bothered to try it out.

My loss.

The dinner, while there were some stumbles, was simply fantastic. The service was on the money, Chef Trent Conry's menu was well thought out, and Sommelier Lesley Gallagher's wine presentation was very informative.

The meal started out with a chioggia beet salad, with large pieces of sweet chioggia beets with avocado, sun gold tomatoes, micro basil, a pomegranate-saba reduction, and an yuzu gelee that really tied everything together nicely. The dish was very refreshing, but also had some weight to it, which created a nice balance.

The second course was a roasted halibut with brussel sprout leaves, parsnips, and lentils (i.e., fish with green stuff). Honestly, I would have been quite satisfied with just the fish (though the brussel sprouts were really good). The halibut was rediculously fresh, only two days from the water according to Chef Conry, and was seasoned very well.

The third course fell a bit flat, and wasn't very well recieved at the table. One would think that a breast of duck with foie gras, sitting aside a crisp noodle cake with huckleberry extraction with watermelon radish would be something to be excited about. But when you undercook the duck, leaving it tough, and overcook the foie gras, you're going to miss.

The dish itself was a good concept - I was struck by the smell once it was put down at the table, I think the extraction was well suited, but it would have been even better if the duck and foie gras was prepared better.

But never fear, there's always dessert! And man oh man, what a dessert! I'm usually not a huge fan of cheesecake. It's always too heavy and I regret it afterwards - but not this time, oh no not this time. Banana-macadamia nut cheesecake? I don't know about you guys, but I'm in. What a stark contrast from the failed dessert attempt at 1789 two nights before - this dish, so incredibly simple, worked so well.

I didn't stumble out of Ardeo, I walked out quite satisfied, full from a very good meal. I may not have been to Nannys in a long time, but I don't think I can walk past Ardeo again without at least thinking about stopping in for a bite to eat.

1 comment:

Lyra said...

I have heard of Ardeo but don't quite remember where it is...where is it? That cheesecake sounds delicious, and the halibut sounds good too.