May 10, 2016
Chevalier opened a year ago in the Baccarat Hotel across the street from The Museum of Modern Art. Linda and I joined Jim and Kim there for dinner on March 29, 2016.
We were seated along the wall of the elegant, quiet dining room.
Linda and Jim started with glasses of Champagne, while Kim and I had the signature cocktail of Chevalier: La Vie en Rose, made with Ruinart Champagne Rosé, Lillet Rose, Citadelle Gin and Campari. Luscious.
The menu was à la carte with about ten dishes in first, main and dessert groups. We made our choices and ordered a bottle of 2005 Louis Boillot 1er Cru “Les Angles” Volnay. Nice.
The hors d’œuvres were little, fresh, warm gougères.
Kim, who is diet is gluten-free, received, instead of the gougères, this pretty little appetizer.
Red beets and currants gave both a pop of color and sweetness to a very tender morsel of white asparagus atop a tasty savory gluten-free bite.
Kim and Linda started with
caramelized diver scallops
Meyer Lemon, Parsnip and Sunflower Seed Praline.
The coffee-flavored, roasted sunflower seeds were an excellent compliment to the nicely caramelized scallops. The parsnip pieces and flowers provided some crunch. Chevalier passes the scallop-flavor and preparation test.
spring onion velouté
Black Truffle Duxelles, Fiddlehead Ferns and Radish
My starter was
millet crusted skate
Confit Duck Salad, Ruby Plums and Takana Greens.
The crusting of the skate wing worked very well, texturally offsetting its natural softness. The garnitures were in the background, but added interest.
We were then offered an extra course of a halibut chunk with porcini purée, first of the season morels and white milk foam.
A very nice gift.
The bread basket was passed.
Kim’s main course was
filet of branzino
Caramelized Fennel Bulb, Winter Citrus Salad, and Watercress Sauce.
The tender texture of the branzino was complemented by fresh bites of grapefuit and orange. The earthy sweetness and chewy texture of the caramelized fennel added dimension the dish. The watercress sauce was very fresh and subtle, pulling the fresh flavors together without overpowering the freshness of the other ingredients.
american wagyu short rib
Charred Broccoli, Beech Mushroom, Pickled Mustard Seeds, House-Made Steak Sauce
The wagyu was good-quality, tender and indeed tasted like a short rib. The steak sauce was a good offset.
Jim’s main was
butter poached maine lobster
‘Ndjuja-Spiced Bouillabaisse, Roasted Gnocchi and Spring Garlic.
The fish broth spiked with spicy salami was poured around at the table.
grass-fed veal loin
Parsnip Aligot, Charred Shallots and Chanterelles
The three thick slices of lamb tenderloin had an excellent flavor. The charred shallots and parsnip purée were very good accompaniments. This was a very good dish.
Kim and Linda’s dessert was
wild berry cassonade
Vanilla Crème Brûlée, Caramelized Muscavado
The caramelized fruit was luscious. The crème brûlée was cold when served, but quickly warmed up. Excellent, light dessert.
inverted huckleberry pie
Graham Cracker Crunch and Crème Chantilly
My dessert was
sticky toffee pudding
Mandarin Orange and Banana Ice Cream
The sphere of date-flavored sponge cake was stickily dressed with caramel. The citrus granite and banana ice cream were nice foils to the stickiness and the picturesque almond wafer added crunch. Very good.
With it I had a glass of 2014 Bricco Quaglia Moscato d’Asti, which also was a nice foil to the toffee.
There were nice little chilled mignardises.
We enjoyed our meal and our evening. The cuisine was successfully inventive with local and seasonal touches. A nice updating of traditional French techniques was evident. The service was professional and the pace just right. The noise level was a real pleasure; we could hear each other and there was gentle music in the background. Chevalier gives the impression that it would be very expensive, but the price of our meal was not out of line with what we received.