Easter is a very important (if not the most important at that!) event for Catholics because it is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the culmination of the Lenten Season which is 40 days of commemorating the Lord's Passion and Death. During this period, we observe fasting and abstinence. And so come Easter Sunday, people really go out of their way to celebrate. Yesterday, Joel, Mom and I decided to celebrate it in David Burke's esteemed restaurant "Townhouse" at the Upper East Side. It was a last minute decision but we were lucky to have gotten a table!
For those not familiar, David Burke is leading pioneer in American cooking today. He has reaped various awards such as the France's coveted Melleurs Ouvriers de France Diploma d'Honneur, Nippon Award of Excellence (Japan), CIA's August Escoffier Award and a couple of others. He was also inducted into the "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America" by the James Beard Foundation. Well enough about him and on to our food experience.
We arrived there just in time for brunch. The ambiance was clean, a bit whimsical (colorful handblown glasses hanging, collection of fantastical artwork, red carpet) but at the same time elegant. You could tell that their customers were mostly from the city's upper echelon. We were presented with a special Easter 3-course prix fixe menu($48/head) and I immediately browsed through the choices with much anticipation and excitement. As usual, I got to pick two sets because Joel did not want to decide for himself! Sharing with you our amazing Easter meal;
Check out the how the butter was presented... a block with a thin swirled mini tower sprinkled with colored kosher salt
FIRST COURSE : APPETIZER
Joel's Pretzel Crusted Crabcake with tomato chutney and poppy seed honey. The crunch from the pretzel sticks and the deep fried couscous used as breading as you bite into the steaming tasty crabcake was nothing short of spectacular!
My Parfait of Big Eye Tuna & Salmon Tartares - Cubed tuna and salmon with apples, pine nuts, hijiki and topped with creme fraiche and 2 thin potato wafers. It had three dip sidings (soy teriyaki, mustard cream and cilantro oil). So fresh and delicately prepared.
Mom's Warm Asparagus Salad with goat cheese, chorizo and kalamata olive puree
SECOND COURSE : MAIN COURSE
Joel's Easter Steak and Eggs which composed of Seared Egg, Potato Hash and Pork Loin "au poivre". He was not so pleased with this one. He said it was ordinary and a bit rustic.
My Charred Grilled Leg of Lamb with Merguez Couscous and Sundried Tomato Puree. The meat was cooked the way I liked (medium rare) and it was really charred on the outside, as the name says. I didn't really enjoy the sauce but I loved the puree that complimented it.
Mom's Country Style Breakfast Skillet - three eggs, bacon, sausage and potato crisp
THIRD COURSE : DESSERT
Joel's Easter Egg Cream - Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Brownie and Marshmallow Sauce. If you're a chocolate lover, this is for you. It was rich and creamy. A playful take on pot de creme served on a martini glass.
My Warm & Crisp Apple Tart with Cider Caramel and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. Drool, drool, drool. This was really good. The thinly sliced baked apples were arranged in a rosette style topped with fresh apple cubes (technically macedoine in size) and topped with the heavenly ice cream.
Mom's Mixed Fruit & Berries with Lemon Sorbet and Strawberry Consomme. This was pretty straightforward and nothing really fancy just the way mom liked it. The fruits were mostly tart and some sweet like the lychee and berries.
Verdict: 1. Elegant and Classy yet Homey Ambiance
2. Stellar, Well Thought of and Intricate Plating
I hope you all had a blessed Easter and enjoyed it as much as I did :)