There were many highlights of our recent trip to NYC–with food obviously being one of them. The first of our many wonderful meals was at Balthazar in SoHo. While bordering on having too much of a touristy feel to it, Balthazar is such a downtown classic that it was worthy of one of our few nights in the city. Bustling and busy, this place has the feel of a real French brasserie and serves mostly a traditional bistro menu.
We started off the evening with the Chicken liver and Foie gras Mousse, served with red onion confit and grilled country bread. This was surprisingly decadent–incredibly creamy, buttery and rich and the onion confit was a great touch and further enhanced the flavors. Definitely a huge fan and this seems like something I can actually pull off making out of the Balthazar cookbook.
The Seafood Ceviche was up next with an assortment of seafood served inside of some red cabbage leaves, reflecting the freshness and lightness of the dish. Even though we were missing out on the raw bar, this dish gave us little sampling of their seafood menu and left us looking forward to one of the large seafood towers we’ll one day be back for.
Now on to my favorite of the night–the duck confit, served with wild mushrooms, crispy potatoes and frisee salad. This was one of those eye-rolling good and forever memorable dishes that is making my mouth water as I reminisce. I could not believe it was possible for the meat to be so falling off the bone tender and flavorful yet the skin to be so crispy at the same time AND then on top of all that the addition of the mushrooms made this dish the soul mate to my palette. If that wasn’t enough the potatoes soaked up the remaining fat drippings, making sure not a bit was wasted.
Also tasted that night was the Grilled Lamb T-bones with lavender baste, coco beans, merguez and mirepoix-one of the dishes recommended by our waiter. The lamb was flavored pretty simply and while cooked well, the dish as a whole was a bit unremarkable.
While I was too enamored with my duck confit to try the salmon, it got great reviews and looked gorgeous with its spring-time accompaniments.
Since we had alternate dessert plans we skipped the many tempting options offered here. Overall this was a fabulous meal that did a great job of welcoming us to a few days of culinary bliss in this amazing city.