Dovetail, NYC 2

December 11, 2008

Linda, Jim and I went back to Dovetail on December 1, 2008. We had dined together there eleven months before, shortly after its opening, and liked it. Since then, its food has received a good 26 rating in the 2009 Zagats. 

We received a nice welcome and were promptly seated for an 8:00 reservation, not always the case in NY. The noise level was high. Strangely, they played music when the restaurant was full, but not later when it was half empty; conversation was easier then. We ordered bottles of 2007 McCrea “Ciel du Cheval” (Washington) Viognier and 2006 Rozak “Rozak Ranch Vineyard” (Santa Rita Hills) Pinot Noir. Both were very nice. Three little hors d’oeuvres on spoons and three warm cornbreads arrived with the viognier.


We decided on the $88 tasting menu, although the à la carte selections looked interesting also.

An amuse-gueule of sweet potato purée with marshmallow and fennel arrived.

It seemed unusual, but I guess it is a classic Thanksgiving combination. Nice.

The first course was
brussels sprouts leaves
pears, serrano ham, manchego cheese

This has been a signature dish of Dovetail since the start and is a good beginning.

The second course was
potato gnocchi

veal short ribs
cranberry beans, rosemary

The veal glaze was quite light and so did not clash with the light gnocchi. A good course, but it should have been served after the fish courses for the sake of the wine. If I had been alert when ordering, I would have asked for the change. (There was an alternate choice for this course at a $15 supplement of sautéed foie gras, graham crackers, fennel, huckleberries.)


grilled lobster
celery, grapefruit

A good piece of lobster with just enough garnish to make it more interesting.


confit halibut
butternut squash, saffron, chanterelle mushrooms

I imagine that the halibut had been slow poached in oil. The underlying garnishes were a good match and only a bit too complicated.


prime rib
horseradish potato puree, au jus

A nice rare slice of good beef and a charred end for contrast. The horseradish, here in the mashed potatoes, is a classic match with beef. Once again, just the right amount of ingredients. Bravo.

There was a pre-dessert of
aloe gelée
with rose petal

This was unusual and good. 
A second predessert came in a little glass: quince consommé with pineapple and cinnamon.


The dessert was
german chocolate cake
condensed milk ice cream, pecans

The chocolate with a fruit compote filling was very rich and good.


The mignardises were
yoghurt marshmallows and chocolate caramels

I really liked this meal for the restraint the chef used in his cuisine, where he applied the philosophy of “just enough is plenty when you have quality ingredients.” I hope that Dovetail gets the recognition it deserves.

For the blogpost on our first meal at Dovetail click here.

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