A Pinch of Salt

A Pinch of Salt

  • Daniel Kramp
  • 07/15/22
Casa Mono
Where: 52 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003 | Gramercy
Casa Mono is the most consistent 1-star rated Michelin restaurant I have been to, where they have kept its Michelin rating since 2010.

There’s something reassuring about a kitchen that gets in whole beasts and does its own butchery—you just know it understands the essence of what good cooking is all about, and can sometimes see the big slabs of meat being prepped during the lunch service.

Dishes are none of those one-bite wonders that blight so many places these days. Nor do they arrive in a stampede at your table. Instead, they are sent out in a sensible order, for the benefit of the diner rather than the convenience of the kitchen.

The cuisine is nominally influenced by the Costa Brava (Spain), but its reach is far greater than that and the tapas are especially refined. Some of the tapas that I had to pleasure to indulge in were Burrata, Fluke Crudo, Mussels with Chorizo & Pimenton, Bone Marrow with Trout Roe, Horseradish, and Everything Bagel Spice, and lastly Scallops with Serrano Pepper Green Curry and Minted Cashews. 

One advice - 
do not mistake the peppercorns for capers and put them all in your mouth like we did... and I would probably skip the pig ears & the mussels next time as I found them to be lacking a little on flavor and excitement.
But definitely get a drink with your meal ;)

Le Coucou

Where: 138 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013 | Nolita

Born in Chicago, chef Daniel Rose first took Paris by storm in 2006 with his restaurant Spring — a success so troubling to Gallic sensitivities that the Michelin Guide didn’t award it a single star. Michelin also snubbed Le Coucou for several years, but the rest of the world knew better. The James Beard Foundation named it the best new restaurant in America the year it opened. Since then, virtually every critic has lavished praise on Rose’s gentle, loving update of the traditional French playbook. 

The menu is unapologetically French, though Chef Daniel Rose infuses his classics with a strong dose of personality. A selection of “gourmandizes” showcases such exemplary classics as pike quenelles or sautéed sweetbreads, which achieve prominent flavor when paired with tomato crème. This may be tailed by beef cheek and foie gras terrine in a pitch-perfect sherry vinaigrette. A venerated rabbit dish is presented as three acts: gently braised legs in a clear consommé with vegetables; stuffed saddle with a rustic pan sauce; and the rest matched with delicious mustard-enrobed onions.

Side Note: Expect to spend about $500 for a couple!

Where:  342 Bowery, New York, NY 10012 | NOHO

Revered Tokyo chef Tadashi “Edowan” Yoshida has taken NYC by storm, as his latest venture was received with pomp, glory, and of course, sold-out seats. Named for the town in Nara Prefecture where his father hails, there is a precise quality to every facet of this space—as in the hinoki (sourced from a 300-year-old tree) counter and hand-made chairs to the knives crafted by a master from Saga Prefecture.

This meticulous approach is seen again in the presentation of dishes. Meals bring an element of theater, so much so that you will find yourself leaning forward to absorb every detail—envision the dramatic removal of a glass dome to reveal a perfect piece of smoked salmon. The main event though just might be the nigiri, tailed by bruléed tomago.

This is a restaurant where excellence is not only expected but created on a regular basis.

If you have a recomendation for a 1 Micheline Star restaurant in the Tri-state areaI have to tray, please submit your comment below!

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