Monday was Cookie Monster’s birthday! :) I thought about taking him to his favorite place, Annisa, but I wanted to try and surprise him with someplace new and different. We both avidly watch Top Chef and love Tom Colicchio so I thought Colicchio & Sons might be a good spot. I read the reviews for dining in the main room and they were pretty glowing so I booked the place.
The room is beautiful. Cookie Monster told me that it is the old Craft Steak. The ceilings are high and swooping, everything is bare, clean and sophisticated and what I loved the most is that the tables are set far apart from the table next to you. I mean you could probably fit another table in between. That means more privacy.
(Please note that you can get a less expensive meal at the Tap Room located within the restaurant and the more formal meal is served in the Main Dining Room.)
The restaurant offers a la carte options as well as a variety of tastings menus. We opted to do the four course tasting menu plus wine pairings. It was his birthday afterall! You get an option of two things for each course. Except for the first course, we pretty much got the same thing. Let’s get started.
Amuse bouche of cold tomato soup (I think – can’t remember to be honest) but it prepped our tongues for the food to come.
Amuse bouche of a little puff filled with lima bean puree. (Think of a cream puff but it’s filled with lima beans instead of cream – and it was the size of my thumbnail.) It was yummy. Lima bean puree had a very light and smooth lima bean taste to it.
My favorite amuse bouche: cucumber panna cotta topped with salmon roe. I LOVE ikura sushi so this was up my alley. Loved the little briny pops of the egg against the cool cucumber custard. Cookie Monster found it a bit fishy but he doesn’t like caviar or ikura.
The table bread shows up piping hot and glistening in all its buttered glory in a cast iron pan. There is a light sprinkling of sea salt over the top. These were DELICIOUS. We ate four of those babies before our first course even got there haha.
For first course, Cookie Monster got the cold corn soup with Alaskan king crab and summer truffle:
Corn is in season so the soup was pleasantly sweet with a full corn flavor. The soup was chilled and velvety smooth. As you can imagine, crab meat pairs very well in this soup. I did not taste any truffle but I only had one spoonful.
I got the seared tuna with yukon gold potato chips and leek puree:
Tuna was very fresh, sashimi grade and I liked the cute potato chips and the pickled shallots but really, this is not something I’ve never tried before so it didn’t exactly blow my mind. If I had to choose between the corn soup and this, I would still take the tuna since I’m not a fan of sweet plates but the soup is definitely more interesting/inventive of the two choices.
We both got the pasta option for second course which was fresh made bucatini with roasted cherry tomatoes and bottarga (dried fish roe that has been cured – quite a delicacy).
Surprisingly Cookie Monster enjoyed this despite the shaved bottarga. I thought he would find it fishy. He thought the flavors worked really well together: acid from the tomatoes, salt and depth from the bottarga. I found the dish boring and lacking pizzazz. It was good but again, nothing that wowed me.
For our third and main course, we both got the roasted and braised suckling pig served with polenta and sunburst squash:
What was so great about this course was that you got a little bit of everything on the pig. You got herb crusted pork belly, braised shoulder with crispy skin (our favorite part), a small bit of loin, and two other parts that I can’t remember. But basically you got to taste all the various cuts. The suckling pig was delectable and very moist and flavorful. As I mentioned the shoulder with a bit of crispy skin was my favorite.
For dessert, I got the chocolate pot de creme with apricot, frangipan, chamomile and olive oil ice cream:
This was perfect for me. I like chocolate pudding alot and it was slightly bitter and not too sweet. There was a little bit of olive oil cake which was moist and delicious.
Cookie Monster saw something on the regular dessert menu (not an option for the tasting) that he wanted more – a chocolate semifredo, which he adores. We asked our server if he could swap it in and when I told her it was his birthday, the restaurant graciously allowed us to swap.
And then an added surprise, they sent him a mini cake with a candle. What a nice touch – I didn’t even request it!
The dinner ended with petite fours:
I thought the meal was delicious and well prepared and perfectly executed but I cannot honestly say I was blown away by the meal. I’ve been spoiled by this city of New York and been able to enjoy a wide range of dining options so my standards may be higher than your average diner. This meal was good but nothing extraordinary. The service however was impeccable and I give this restaurant kudos for the incredibly professional, polite and friendly service we got. Everything was seamless.
Colicchio & Sons, 85 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY