Mas (Farmhouse), NYC 2
February 2, 2016
After we dined at Mas (Farmhouse) three years ago, I wrote: “All seven of our dishes were top quality, with good, seasonal ingredients, creatively and precisely prepared.” So we were looking forward to a fine meal when Linda and I returned for dinner with Judith on January 21, 2016.
We were seated in the smaller and quieter back room.
We started with glasses of Moncuit Champagne.
The bread tray was passed.
Little hors d’œuvres of duck liver mousse arrived.
A four-course $88 prix-fixe menu is proposed, but one can substitute easily from the à la carte offerings. We ordered a bottle of an old favorite that is in keeping with the French farmhouse theme of the restaurant: 2008 Domaine de Trevallon.
We really enjoy this wine from near Les Baux that can only be rated a “vin de table,” because the vigneron follows his own rules. Adding some Cabernet Sauvignon to Provençale grapes provides welcome substance.
Judith’s first course was
Salad of Charred Figs, Duck Leg “Prosciutto” & Arugula
Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Panna Cotta, Toasted Oats with Agrodolce Dressing.
This appetizer was very good. The oats added a different, and interesting, soft “crunch”.
Linda and I started with
Yellowfin Tuna l’Occidental
Flashed with Beurre Noisette & Crispy Shallots
For a starter this was a large serving. The slices of fresh, good tuna had been quickly and lightly seared in hot brown butter, which formed the sauce. The crispy shallots added crunch to the excellent dish.
Judith’s fish course was
Roasted Wild Striped Bass with a Leek Fondue
Celery Root Purée & Carrot-Turnip Stew
Judith was not enthusiastic about this dish, but I think that I would have liked it.
Linda and my fish course was
Pacific Halibut with a Persillade Crumble
Bouillabaisse with Baby Fennel, Red Pearl Onions
& Roasted Garlic Escargot
The halibut had a nice flavor, but seemed dry with only a parsley crumble on top and the meager portion of “bouillabaisse” sauce way underneath. The garlicky snails were a good flavor addition, but did not help texturally.
Judith and Linda’s meat course was
Braised Beef Short Ribs with a Potato Croquette
Roasted Cippolini Onion, Black Trumper & Kale
Judith was surprised that the short ribs had been formed into a boneless cube. She said that the potato croquette was deliciously unctuous. Linda thought that the short ribs were very well prepared. Good flavor, good texture.
My meat course was
Roasted Violet Hill Farm Chicken with Fingerling Potato Purée
Grilled Escarole, Hedgehog Mushrooms & Crispy Carrots
The chicken pieces with crispy skin attached were very nice. The others were a bit dry and bland. The vegetables were good, but the portion of hedgehog mushrooms was disappointing.
Linda’s dessert was
Dark Chocolate Ganache with Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream
Candied Orange & Graham Cracker Crumble
The ganache was in the shape of a small log, rich and what it should be. The marshmellow ice cream was good and the little dabs of marshmellow melted in one’s mouth. A good dessert.
Judith’s and my dessert was
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Roasted Chestnuts
Pickled Dates, Granola & Bourbon-Buttermilk Ice Cream.
This was sensational. It had a flavorful lusciousness that was not too sweet. Judith described it as “fabulous, a wonderful combination of warm, cold, chewy and crunch.”
With it I had a glass of 2013 Dashe Late Harvest Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California
Late harvest, sweetish red wines are problematical, but this matched well with the festive dessert.
There were little mignardises.
We enjoyed our meal, but it was not up to the high level of our last visit. The conception and execution of half of the courses was merely okay. The ambiance and noise level were nice. The pace was good and the service from genial Catherine was excellent.
To see our meal three years before click here.