Colicchio & Sons, NYC

April 8, 2010

A few weeks ago Sam Sifton, the new and controversial restaurant reviewer for The New York Times, awarded Colicchio & Sons three stars. This immediately created a storm in the NYC restaurant blogging world, led by Marc Shepherd who wrote: “It is not often that a restaurant gets three stars in the Times when every other critic (and most bloggers) thought it was worth, at best, one.”  Chowhound was full of those who liked it and more of those who did not.  There were also a lot of disparaging comments about Sam Sifton. The chef, Tom Colicchio, is a TV celebrity and has been the chef at quite a few NYC restaurants. We had really liked his cuisine at Mondrian and The Gramercy Tavern about fifteen years ago, but had not sampled it since.  On April 2, 2010, Linda and I had an early evening event not far away and so went for dinner. The NY Times review had particularly recommended the Tasting Menu, but we were not up to it and ordered à la carte. Freshly baked Parker House rolls arrived.

They were spongy and warm. 

We ordered a bottle of 2005 Arcadian (Santa Rita Hills) Pinot Noir. It was very good. The amuse-gueule was celery root panna cotta, lobster salad and truffled syrup.
 

Linda started with
ROASTED SWEETBREADS WITH HONEY ONIONS & BACON-SHERRY VINEGAR

She wrote: “The sweetbreads were very crispy as advertised. There were good bacon and crispy honey onion slices, plus jicama on top. It was a good sweetbread combination.”

My first course was
WHITE BEAN AGNOLOTTI  WITH CHORIZO, PORK BELLY & OCTOPUS

This was served at room temperature, which may or may not have been deliberate. It actually worked quite well for the cube of pork belly and the two octopus chunks on either side of it, but it made the agnolotti pasty and unpleasant. 

Linda’s main course was
ROASTED RABBIT WITH BRAISED FENNEL & OLIVES

She wrote that the rabbit was moist and at the correct temperature. She liked the combination except for the pasty lentils.

I went on to
LAMB LOIN WITH MERGUEZ & LENTILS

The lamb loin was quite nice, perked up by the spicy sausage meat you can see on the outside edges inside the wrapping of fat. The lentils were dry and flavorless. Again the whole dish was underheated. 

We had had enough at this point and skipped dessert. The service was fast, efficient and overly intrusive. Colicchio & Sons is in a huge space in a building in the old Meat Packing District. The front has a bar with tables where one can eat. There is a very picturesque grilling area which one walks by on the way to the back. The chef wandered around a bit and sat at the table in the empty private dining room. The noise level is high; the room is full of energy from the young downtown crowd. Perhaps they were happy and the chef knows his audience, but it isn’t us.

http://www.colicchioandsons.com/

The Tasting Menu at $125 

LANGOSTINE WITH HONSHIMEJI & GINGER 

SCALLOPS WITH FOIE GRAS TERRINE, HONEY TURNIPS & PUNTARELLE

LOBSTER WITH CABBAGE & LOBSTER BORDELAISE

STURGEON WITH SABA & GRAPE PUMPKIN MARMALADE

RED SQUAB WITH GLOBE ARTICHOKES & VADOUVAN

ROASTED LAMB LOIN WITH NETTLES, GREEN CHICK PEAS & CARAMELIZED YOGURT

ORANGE-LACED CANNOLI WITH RICOTTA & MEYER LEMON SORBET

MANGO TATIN WITH MILK CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA, CACAO NIB & GREEK FROZEN YOGURT

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