Gelatinous Meat Puree
With all the hype surrounding Top Chef’s arrival in DC I thought I would share my experience at Tom Colicchio‘s newly opened Colicchio & Sons, formerly Craft in NY’s Meatpacking District. As a post-theater treat for my birthday, Deej promised me a dinner of my choosing. I went with Colicchio & Sons as I’m a fan of the chef and figured the timing would be right. And how it was.
As some of you might remember from our meal at José Andrés’ Bazaar, Deej isn’t the most accommodating when it comes to food, so we opted to eat from the dining room menu and not the tasting menu. And because we just love harassing picky eaters, Deej will also provide commentary on our dining experience.
The kitchen was very accommodating: they were more than happy to provide one of the tasting menu dishes as an appetizer — scallops with foie gras terrine, honey turnips and puntarelle. A small portion of each, the scallop and foie gras combined on the fork; it was exactly how it should be. Simply delicious.
Simply—not so much. The foie gras was foie gross. The texture was like gelatinous meat puree. It reminded me of that Jell-o—like brown stuff at the top of a dog food can. How do you people actually enjoy this stuff? Seriously!?! The scallop was well cooked but not my thing flavor-wise. So I choked down two bites and gave the rest to Britty-boy.
For the entrée I went with the striped bass. Oh how I wish I chose differently. I was disappointed in the fish; it was not at all what I was hoping for. The fish was not tender and flaky, but instead it was tough and chewy, slumped in a pool of pea shoots. To be honest, a steak knife would have been useful.
Deej strayed from his comfort zone and ordered the spice-roasted lola duck, and he too was surprised, but fortunately pleasantly surprised. The meat was tender and tangy, delicately sliced with a kumquat chutney.
Mine was definitely better! In your face Britty-boy!!! IN. YOUR. FACE! The duck had the texture of a rare tenderloin and the flavor was amazing. Not over-seasoned, the taste of the meat was allowed to shine through. I enjoyed every bit of it (however I enjoyed Britty-boy’s seething jealousy even more!) I cannot exactly recall what else was on the plate. But in any case, the duck was able to stand on its own.
For dessert we split the beignets with bourbon panna cotta and sour apple granita. A lot has been said about the restaurant’s pastry offerings but I wasn’t disappointed. A light and delicately sweet pastry was a fitting end to a turbulent meal. Deej also thought the same. But that doesn’t say much as he’ll never pass up on dessert.
At the end of dinner Deej and I made our way to the bar for a final drink. It was late in the evening and Chef Colicchio plonked himself down on one of the sofas near the window with a couple of his chefs for a cold beer. Despite my disappointing entrée, I did enjoy my time at Colicchio & Sons. So a thank you to the Chef was in order. (And thank you for letting me interrogate you about the DC Top Chef taping.)
And then we left to watch Jersey guidos try to start fights outside of a trashy Times Square bar. God I love New York.
(Apologies for the lack of photos, I opted to be respectful to the restaurant and fellow diners and just enjoy the dinner.)