Telepan, NYC 4

August 17, 2009

On August 9, 2009, we went back to Telepan after an early Sunday evening Mostly Mozart concert in the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall at nearby Lincoln Center. We enjoy this restaurant for its quiet ambience and good modern American food. tla

Linda ordered a glass of Pannier “Brut Selection” NV Champagne; I had one of 2008 Forstreiter “Grande Reserve” Grüner Veltliner.  We ordered a bottle of 2006 Emeritus (Russian River) Pinot Noir which had a good strong flavor of the fruit once it had warmed up from the surprisingly cold cellar temperature. A three-part amuse-gueule arrived: gougère, a bean paste crostino and a lemony cold cucumber soup.

The menu offers three courses for $39, four for $59 (our choice) and five (with cheese) for $69. As you will see, Telepan has an overly imaginative menu description writer.

Linda’s starter was a special:
a handcut slice of fried Greenmarket white eggplant, Borgata? cheese, heirloom cherry tomatoes, red wine vinaigrette

The eggplant combined well with the mozarella-like cheese. She would have liked a second slice of eggplant, but this was just the appetizer.

My appetizer was 
tomato gazpacho salad

The char tartar was good, but wasn’t a perfect match with the “gazpacho” salad, which included diced avocado, celery, cucumber, scallion, red onion and halves of cherry tomatoes.

Linda’s mid-course was 
spaghetti, light herbs & shallot-garlic-tomato broth

You can see in the photo of this dish on our last visit, not in the summer tomato season, that the broth was much lighter making this dish more interesting. This time the tomatoes were reduced to a heavy sauce which overpowered the small amount of lobster.

Mine was
organic grits soufflé & corn agnolotti

There is more corn under the pasta sheet than is evident in the photo. It had been smoked, but still seemed quite fresh and had a lovely flavor. There were various types of beans making sort of a succotash. (What looks like lima beans are fava beans.) The souflée was also light and good, tasting of ground corn. Calling this an agnolotti because there is a pasta sheet on top is absurd, but I liked the dish for its summer seasonality.

Linda’s main course was 
zucchini, arugula, lemon & warm potato salad

The trout was excellent with crispy skin. The yellow and green zucchini slices were thin, very fresh, in a good light summery sauce. There were three little chunks of potato.

My main course was 
egg pasta, shell beans, black kale & summer pesto

I liked this for its fresh, summery effect, but it is not clear what “summer” pesto is; or, rather, what “winter” pesto would be. The kale, which is under the chicken breast, is not to everyone’s taste, but its bitterness contrasted nicely with the slight sweetness of everything else.

Linda’s dessert was a special:
Tres Leches cake and ice cream with peaches and strawberries

This Mexican sponge cake is soaked in a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. The ice cream was made from the same mixture. A good light summer dessert.

My dessert was 
almonds, toasted anise cream & prosecco

The prosecco was poured on slowly at the table and so added a fizz as I ate the parfait. Nice.

The meal was enjoyable with fresh seasonal ingredients. There were no real disappointments, except maybe the lobster. Telepan was only half full that evening, despite the promotion of their hamburger, which is only offered on Sundays in the summer. Since we go to Lincoln Center a lot, we will be back.

To see our blogpost on Telepan from February, 2009,  click here.

To see our blogpost on Telepan from August, 2008, click here.


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