Chef Gabriel Kreuther left the Michelin-starred Modern a couple of years ago and took his pastry chef with him to open up his new namesake space in the Grace Building across from Bryant Park. Beloved from the get-go, the restaurant earned a Michelin star of its own in its first year, but having tried the 4-course, $125 tasting menu a few weeks ago, I can’t imagine that it won’t gain another star or even two in the coming years.
It wasn’t as fussy as the three-Michelin-starred favorites in the city thanks to touches of whimsy here and there in elements like a stork-patterned wallpaper (the stork is a symbol of rebirth in Kreuther’s native Alsatian homeland), but the main dining room felt classic and elegant with its cushy cream banquettes and exposed wood beams. The food was stunningly beautiful but still at times a little silly, and I mean that in the best way. Who doesn’t want a mezcal cocktail served in a coconut shell in the middle of a frou-frou French meal?
I lived for the many loaves of bread that came out between courses and love a chef who makes me unable to resist ordering sweetbreads even though I sort of can’t believe that’s something we choose to eat as humans. But I mean, these were fried in duck fat. The sturgeon and sauerkraut tart is a must-order just for the dramatic smoke-filled dome presentation, and my blackberry chocolate dessert actually made meringue seem like more than just crunchy air. The flavors were bold, and there was always just that ~something~ on the plate–a celery leaf or a sprinkle of pancetta–that I wouldn’t have thought to put there.
Creams and pinks and golds! Did I design this restaurant in my dreams?
buttery, crusty bread
a closeup of that chive fromage blanc
queso frito, passion fruit tostones, masa-yucca empanada
coffee-coconut cocktail with mezcal and a brown sugar crumble
foie gras terrine & black truffle praline, muscat gelée, seven grain toast
langoustine tartare, flying fish roe, cauliflower-macadamia purée
another helping of bread
sturgeon & sauerkraut tart, American caviar mousseline, applewood smoke
crispy sweetbreads roasted in duck fat, honshimeji, pancetta, pasilla
still more bread!
Nova Scotia halibut, celery root, hen of the woods, riesling-cockle sauce
(Someone doesn’t know how to focus her camera, sorry.)
roasted diver scallops, basil crumble, early spring vegetable nage
a sphere of melon on vanilla espuma
Comfort: cherry almond, sautéed cherries, almond mousseline, sablé breton
Decadent: blackberry chocolate, chocolate mousse, blackberry gelée, lemon verbena meringue
chocolates shaped like baby French macarons!
basically Pocky for grown-ups
41 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036 (map)