VOLANTE Lola Cristall returns to uptown New York to kick off her latest excursions to the US east coast’s finest dining experiences
We make our way back uptown where chef David Burke’s casual tavern, in a quaint New York townhouse, awaits.
Chef David is known as an inspiring restaurateur and cookbook author who shares his passion in every dish. David Burke Tavern (www.davidburketavern.com) is an elegant two-storey space that welcomes guests through a bar and lounge area on the ground floor, before making their way upstairs to a more serene and formally elegant setting with red button-tufted back booths in a dim-lit surrounding. The ambiance is cozy and captivating, while the cuisine is irresistible.
The highly professional staff provide to guests’ needs, sharing their in-depth expertise and knowledge of the menu. A wild mushroom ravioli is delicately touched with a hint of parmesan, sage and pomegranate with a drizzle of thick chocolate balsamic dressing on top, a fulfilling dish displaying immense flavours. A fire-roasted Atlantic salmon is simply presented with green beans and a beautiful tomato vinaigrette while the branzino with artichoke purée with a trace of ratatouille sauce is a tantalizing experience for the senses. For dessert, the celebrated cheesecake lollipop tree is an experience for the appetite as well the eyes, whimsically presented to diners. The overall David Burke culinary flight is gratifyingly delicious and amusingly witty as penguin plush toys and small Humpty Dumpty figurines adorn the space, resonant of Chef David’s æsthetic persona.
From the heat of Miami to the flames of a New York kitchen, Kyu (www.kyurestaurants.com) recently arrived to reveal Asian-inspired cuisine. The establishment is a hotspot in the city where diners look forward to fresh culinary creations put together by accomplished and highly passionate chef Chris Arellanes.
Walking into a small door, a vast space awaits, lured by the aromatic smell of wood-fired provisions, with the sounds of locals and tourists alike enthralled by each platter. Chef Chris brings his savoir-faire from his experiences at renowned destinations including Per Se and Eleven Madison Park, redefining cooking concepts and skill to present immense flavours bringing to life a simple salad, a bed of broccoli or a whole cauliflower head. He understands that healthy cuisine can be a splendid experience for all diners, utilizing an immense range of ingredients to boost taste and texture.
Chef Chris enthusiastically discusses his upbringing that focused on the importance of wholesome cooking and nourishing food, which he exhibits through his culinary mastery and skill. Shishito peppers are beautifully flavoured by a simple sesame vinaigrette, sliced hamachi is a refreshing twist with white ponzu, mint and basil, while the grilled octopus with hearts of palm ceviche and red onion is an explosion of flavours. Mirin, a sweet Japanese cooking wine extracted from fermented rice, is caramelized with yuzu and sesame breadcrumbs to delicately envelope a leafy chicory salad. Focusing on the concept of simple ingredients and elements to reveal bold taste, a slightly spicy shishito-herb vinaigrette with a dollop of goat cheese smeared on the base of the plate serves as the canvas for a delicately roasted cauliflower. Stone pot Thai fried rice is stirred and served directly at a guest’s table for a tantalizing experience. Simple vegetables are brought to life: the baby bok choy with chili and toasted garlic has a hint of spice as coconut creamed spinach provides a mouth-watering texture that beautifully accompanies any meat or fish platter. While the savoury selections are tauntingly delectable, the dessert options are just as delicious. A warm rhubarb tart and a satisfyingly full-bodied coconut cake are some of the many alluringly sweet choices.
From delectable chic to a New York staple offering kosher cuisine, UN Plaza Grill (www.unplazagrill.com) is a stunning restaurant with 40 ft floor-to-ceiling windows.
As an iconic destination directly facing the United Nations, it is only fitting that the UN Plaza Grill would offer international dishes that range from Indian decadence to Mediterranean delight. Start with the must-have porcini and white mushroom soup that is covered by a crispy puffed-pastry baked to perfection, continue with marinated olives with orange, garlic and rosemary before indulging in a lemon–garlic–white wine sauce spaghetti primavera accompanied by a range of seasonal vegetables. A variety of sushi is also available or simply opt for a slew of sides including a cumin and curry fried cauliflower, a Japanese eggplant with a sweet chili sauce, or roasted vegetables. The seasonal ingredients are fresh and delectably chosen, utilizing various herbs and spices to create accentuated tastes in each spoonful.
UN Plaza Grill focuses on a universal gourmet journey through their Global Chefs Pop-up series that highlights a different country each month, presenting a gastronomic experience in partnership with a guest chef who is recognized for their assigned nation’s culinary know-how. Inès Chattas, the culinary director, partners with guest chefs to divulge truly unique and exquisite fare.
For a new and upbeat destination, Mollusca (www.molluscanyc.com), located in the heart of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, is the place to be and be seen. Choose from an extensive list of sauces to accompany a red tin bucket filled with fresh mussels, or enjoy a specialty from the raw bar from sashimi to sushi and rolls. A vegan menu is also available for an inventive twist on gourmet speciality, including trumpet mushrooms in the form of scallops on a bed of piquant butternut squash purée with a hint of pistachio vinaigrette for sublime flavour. The menu provides a selection of pastas, risottos and fish platters that are inspired by hints of Asian and Mediterranean savouriness.
Exclusivity and guilty gourmet pleasures that talented chefs set out to share are also something to look forward to at Boston’s Mooncusser Fish House (www.mooncusserboston.com). With an updated menu each month, new and returning guests can only imagine the delectably enchanting culinary delight that awaits.
The two-storey establishment in Boston’s Back Bay near the Boston Common provides a space for a quick bite and drinks on the ground floor at Cusser’s, or a more intimate fine dining spot on the upper level with a handful of available tables. The New England eatery constantly updates their four-course prix fixe menu, allowing guests to experience an array of options on a monthly basis according to the fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Chef Carl Dooley relies on locally as well as sustainably sourced ingredients, international flavours and his guests’ range of palates to present original and novel culinary masterpieces. Opt for the tasting menu with a wine pairing that has been carefully selected by the sommelier focusing on quenching one’s thirst while also beautifully unifying the splendid tastes that arise.
Chef Carl is joined by executive pastry chef Jared Bacheller, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, who brings his sweet craftsmanship to the table. From L’Atelier at the Ritz–Carlton in Boston to Michelin star restaurants in Chicago as well as the eminent Per Se, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernard in in New York, chef Jared returns to Boston to unveil his profound skill, which exquisitely blends with chef Carl’s extensive expertise, bringing the public an everlasting culinary quest. •
Lola Cristall is Paris editor of Lucire.
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