Atera, NYC 6

October 17, 2017

Linda and I returned to Atera for dinner on August 25, 2017, after a two year absence. 

We were seated at the counter with good views of the kitchen and were quickly served Lime – Juniper.

This palate freshener was made of a warm lime foam on top and ice with juniper oil flavoring underneath. The temperature interplay was interesting. We ordered glasses of Charles Ellner Carte Blanche Brut Champagne.

Here you can see the chefs gathered behind the Champagne bucket watching the palate freshener being served to the first diners. Top Chef Ronny Emborg was absent, as was genial General Manager Matthew Abbick, who was getting married the next day. But the kitchen and service functioned smoothly in their absence.

Then came
Salmon – Nori, Radish

Smoked salmon was under a roulade of both horseradish and watermelon radish. The tartelette is made with nori.

Oyster – Yuzu, Shallot

An excellent oyster from Vancouver was dressed with olive oil, pickled shallot and yuzu juice. It was topped with some redundant coarse salt. 

Æbleskiver – Bacon, Peppercorn

These traditional, spherical, Danish pancakes are usually served sweetened for dessert. In this savory version they were filled with bits of bacon. A peppercorn dipping sauce was alongside. 

Golden Osetra Caviar –Pistachio, IPA

The pistachio ice cream and the “beer cream” were good accompaniments to the high quality Israeli caviar.  (Beer cream is made from cream combined with buttermilk and Perpetual IPA (Imperial Pale Ale) from Troegs.)
Fortunately, we still had some Champagne in our glasses for the caviar dish, but now we started on a bottle of 2014 Stéphane Ogier Condrieu.

The flavor was excellent, but not forceful. 

Langoustine – Foie Gras, Apple

A Scottish langoustine was under the tent of thin, tart slices of Granny Smith apple topped with shavings of Hudson Valley foie gras. The langoustine was delicious, but was not helped by the odd garnishes. 

Scallop – Corn, Carrot

Under the foam were two small scallops. The scoop of carrot purée and the corn kernels went well. 

Halibut – Celeriac, Kohlrabi

A tent of very thin slices of kohlrabi covered an excellent piece of halibut. The walnut bits on it added some nice crunch and  flavor. Celery root purée is under the halibut. Excellent dish.

Pretzel – Cream Cheese, Pickle

The pickle bits in the cream cheese filling made it unpleasantly tart. 

Whole Wheat Baton

Bread is served as a distinct course, not an accompaniment to the meal. These slices were very good, enhanced by the two butters. Perhaps the slight sweetness was meant to offset the pretzel which was served at the same time. 

Cauliflower – Yolk, Parmesan, Truffle

They told us that the truffles came from Burgundy. In August?? They had a good truffle flavor that complemented the cauliflower wedge and the parmesan foam. 

We had finished the Condrieu and now were served a half-bottle of
2012 Argyle ‘Willamette Valley’ Reserve Pinot Noir. 

Very good.

Guinea Hen – Green Bean, Potato

The guinea hen meat was formed like a slice of a terrine. Its glaze enhanced the good flavor.  

Bison – Squash, Wasabi

The piece of bison filet was tender and good. The sauce underneath worked well. The zucchini batons on top were decorative, but did not add much. 

Melon – Skyr, Vanilla

The disc covered a scoop of ice cream made from skyr, or Icelandic yoghurt. It was surrounded by melon balls. 

Heart of Palm – Oak, Honey

For the ice cream inside the cream is steeped in spent bourbon barrels from Tuthilltown Distillery. There is also honeycomb and meringue.

White Chocolate – Huckleberry

A huckleberry gel covered a white chocolate pannacotta.

Madeleine – Black Garlic

The madeleines looked traditional, but they had a black filling that seemed like chocolate to us. 

Miso Caramel – Chocolate

These were good, but really sticky because of the caramel inside the chocolate. 

Sorghum – Peanut

Popped sorghum was very much like popcorn, clever and good.

We had a very enjoyable evening. Atera continues to be one of our favorite American restaurants. We really enjoy trying their inventive combinations, most of which we find to be successes. The ingredients are always top rate and sometimes unusual. The entire staff made us feel welcome; there was still interaction with the sous-chefs as they deliver their dishes, although not with acting top chef James Moore who was fully occupied. The pace moves right along, which is just right with the small dishes. The music has been restrained, but is still too loud. We will keep returning to Atera.

To see all of our meals at Atera click here.

One Response to “Atera, NYC 6”

  1. Lora Vance Says:

    A wonderful post, Michael. What a fantastic journey for the palate.

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