It is not a secret that some of the best chefs on the planet are “French-trained”. Their work in gastronomic restaurants in France brings valuable experience for their careers. That highly influences not only their techniques and style of cooking but also what cuisine they cook. Not surprising- usually French. Today I had a look at the top restaurants in London in Zagat guide and the best restaurants in London are French. In Manhattan is the same, in the main German cities is the same, in Moscow, so is in many other metropolises. Most of the chefs who have ever worked in France want to recreate what they saw there. I don’t say that its bad, French food is my favourite, but I do prefer to eat it in France. And sometimes its a pity not to concentrate more on the traditional cuisine of that particular country. At least for me when I visit a city I want to try the local food or something where local ingredients are not disregarded.
That’s why I am always very excited to eat out in restaurants that serve gastronomic food with a local emphasis. Bouley (2 Michelin stars) in New York is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, like other top restaurants in NY Bouley is a French restaurant. Let’s not forget that David Bouley has worked at Joel Robuchon and Paul Bocuse restaurants in France at some point of his career. But even if his dishes are quite classical (in a good way) there is a strong emphasis on the American ingredients.
Although it was my first time in Bouley, I have known the cooking of David Bouley for years. On the other side of the Bouley building, one of my favourite restaurants in New York is located. The Wiener schnitzel in Bouley’s Danube is to die for – and for such a tasty dish I could “die” every day. For this reason, I was sure that the “main” Bouley’s restaurant would not be worse, and, hopefully, better. I was not wrong. My dinner was excellent, one of the top dinners I have ever had in New York’s gastronomic restaurants.
I don’t remember what was the exact name of the amuse-bouche as it was three weeks ago, but I do remember the taste -the wonderful marriage of beetroot and whipped cream.
“Phyllo crusted Florida shrimp, baby squid, Cape cod sea scallop and sweet Maryland crab meat in an ocean herbal broth”.The herbal broth perfectly revealed the superb quality of the seafood. Yes, it was a simple dish, but perfect!
“Organic Connecticut farm egg steamed with black truffle, serrano ham, Parmesan Reggiano and 25-year-old balsamic vinegar” Excellent. As most of the dishes in Bouley, this dish was 20% of creativity and innovation, and 80 % of enormous talent to marry the ingredients that all taste very well. (By the way, this is the “virtue” of the grand chef Joel Robuchon.)
“Wild king salmon with morels, crosnes, morels purée, fava beans grilled a la plancha, naval orange powder and clementine glaze”. Clementines with salmon, what a great idea… And I am never against the fava beans!
“Line-caught Catham cod with the stew of artichokes, salsify, baby bok choy and black truffle dashi” Very light and “minimalistic”, but such small touches as the dashi (Japanese clear stock) with truffles made it very powerful.