Gabriel Kreuther, the Alsatian born chef who led at The Modern, opened up this eponymously named restaurant recently across the street from Bryant Park. There are duck or goose head handles at the large glass doors leading, and facing each customer to the left is a large, open, noisy, high-ceilinged bar. To the right is the dining room.
I was in last night.
Front of the House has a blasé attitude, which is probably top down, and at the desk, with one person the exception to the we’re-doing-you-a-favor attitude. She noted that, “The food will make up,” for what was a twenty minute wait on a Thursday night reservation.
She was right: The food was crazy-delicious. Ultra modern, refined French served in a succession of delightfully small plates that had deep, deep, deep concentrations of flavor. We’re talking: “Langoustine Tartar flying fish roe • salty fingers • cauliflower-macadamia purée” and “Sturgeon & Sauerkraut Tart American caviar mousseline • applewood smoke” and “Sweetbread-Black Truffle Dumplings summer corn purée • red currants” and “Crispy Frog’s Legs mousseron mushrooms • young garlic bouillon • fava beans” and Squab & Foie Gras Croustillant (for two)seasonal vegetables • bay leaf jus.”
The room itself needs work: It lacks focus and rhythm, and that’s probably just new joint willies.
I’ve been a fan of Alsatian food for many years, going back to Andre Soltner, at Lutece, and the Rieslings from this region are my favorite wine: Bone dry at their best, lean and yet packed with fruit.
Truly one of the better and more interesting meals I have had in ages. I’ll be back.