Mas (farmhouse), NYC

February 5, 2013

Mas (farmhouse) has the second highest food rating in Zagat, equal to EMP, Bouley, Daniel and Jean Georges etc. We had enjoyed its sister restaurant, Mas (la grillade), last August and so Linda and I were looking forward to a lot when we went for dinner on January 17, 2013. Although Mas (farmhouse) has been open since 2004, we had not been before.

Galen Zamarra is the chef of both restaurants. Although he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, he says that his real development as a chef came under David Bouley, Alain Passard and Michel Bras. This explains the Franco-American style of his cuisine.

We started with glasses of Jacques Lassaigne, Le Cotet, Montgueux, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Champagne. Good.

There is a somewhat confusing, limited menu which changes daily, respecting seasonality and freshness.  One can order a Chef’s Tasting Menu, as the table next to us did; they had more, but smaller, courses and they finished before we did, although we started at the same time. We chose the standard offering of four courses we could select from anywhere on the menu.

The wine list is heavy on Southern French wines. I ordered a bottle of 2001 Domaine Trevallon, which was listed at an attractive price. As they were out of it, they offered us a bottle of 2007 Domaine Tempier Cuvée Cabassaou at the same price. This is the premium vineyard of Domaine Tempier and is delicious.

The amuse-gueule was a goat cheese quiche.
mas a
Not unusual, but nice. The tangyness of the goat cheese made this less flabby than it might have been.

.

Linda’s first course was
Yellowfin Tuna l’Occidental Flashed with Beurre Noisette & Crispy Shallots
mas b
For a starter this was a large serving.  The slices of fresh, good tuna were quickly and lightly seared in hot brown butter, which formed the sauce. The crispy shallots added crunch to the excellent dish

.

My starter was 
Brussels Sprouts Roasted with House- Cured Lamb Bacon 
Deviled Quail Egg, Butternut Squash Confit & Shaved Pecorino
mas c
This dish was unusually elegant and good for a common combination. The Brussels sprouts had the sweetness they get after a frost and when they are still tiny, as here. The lamb bacon was not as sweet as regular pork bacon and so made a better contrast. 

.

Linda’s fish course was
Mushroom Dusted Monkfish with Soy Glazed Sweetbreads 
Sweet Potato Purée, Smoked Shiitake Mushrooms & Baby Bok Choi
mas d
The smokiness of the monkfish and mushrooms was a good enhancement to their fresh flavors. The unusual combination with sweetbreads and plain steamed baby bok choy worked well.

.

My fish course was 
Butter Poached Lobster with Hon Shimeji Mushrooms 
Huitlacoche Purée & Ricotta Spaetzle with Baby Arugula
mas e
Butter poaching the lobster made it rich and unctuous. The sauce of Huitlacoche purée underneath was an imaginative and excellent combination. Huitlacoche are sometimes called Mexican corn truffles because of their earthiness. Fresh Perigord black truffles were shaved on top of the dish enhancing the effect. (I paid an optional supplement for the truffles.) The spätzle underneath captured the sauce nicely and extended the dish. Excellent.

.

For the meat course we both had 
Roasted Long Island Duck Breast 
Wild Rice, Grilled Black Kale & Port Glazed Beets
mas f
The duck had a good rich flavor. The wild rice seemed to have been cooked in a smoked broth. The beets added sweetness and the kale bitterness. Everything worked together. Very good.

.

Linda’s dessert was
Lillet-Poached Anjou Pear with a Fig Pecan Cake, Candied Pecans & Pear Sorbet
mas g
The fig pecan cake was luscious, the best part of a reasonably light dessert.

.

My dessert was
Dulce de Leche Semifreddo over Almond Cake, Caramelized Apples & Almond Toffee
mas h
The crunchy shards of almond toffee lifted this dessert out of the ordinary. The flavors were all complementary and not too sweet.

We didn’t order them, but I was impressed by the creativity of the sorbets and ice cream offered on the menu by the scoop: House-Made Pear, Cranberry, or Huckleberry Sorbet ; Maple Spice, Rum, or Beurre Noisette Ice Cream.

All seven of our dishes were top quality, with good, seasonal ingredients, creatively and precisely prepared. Although there were multiple components to each dish, they were coherent and did not seem overly complex. The portions were quite large for this type of cuisine, but we were not complaining about that. The service was good, efficient and friendly.  We were in the spare back room next to the busy exit to the kitchen, which added interest as much as annoyance. The acoustics were resonant. The front room has a more interesting decor, but the noise level was even higher.

http://www.masfarmhouse.com/home.html

 

One Response to “Mas (farmhouse), NYC”

  1. KAREN LONG DWIGHT Says:

    Yum. That sounds like my kind of meal!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s