I was lucky enough recently to have dinner at the relatively new restaurant from Drew Nieporent called Corton. It was a truly spectacular meal – innovative yet familiar and as Frank Bruni pointed out in his recent review, it’s an ‘out and out deal in light of its high standards.’ The meal started with an amuse bouche of oyster with lemon balm and just kept getting better.
I had a sweetbread appetizer with a perfectly poached egg and crispy beet leaves (a replacement for the cracker to make the dish gluten-free).
Squab with chestnut crème and smoked bacon was the main and it registered as one of the best dished I’ve had this year. Time Out NY‘s accolades were consistent with mine.
My friend ordered his dishes gluten-free, even turning down the bread to eliminate any worry about crumbs. He claims that I give him the evil eye when there’s bread on the table, but I think it’s just his paranoia…. He had the bay scallops with uni crème, ama ebi and marcona almond. I am not usually a fan of bay scallops but these were outstanding. His main – the black angus beef, sirloin, short rib and horseradish bone marrow crust was a cut above most preparations even if not the best I’ve had this year.
There were 3 gluten-free options for dessert – a Giaduja Palette (hazelnut), Bitter Chocolate Fondant (flourless) or the cheese plate. I had the Bitter Chocolate Fondant with chestnut and ice cream but I demanded he order the Caramel Brioche just so I could see it (no evil eye, just admiration of a beautiful dish I promise).
All of the truffles and sweets offered to close the meal were gluten-free – there was even a chocolate with gold flakes. The entire experience felt like the closest I have gotten to Per Se at a fraction of the cost. Even our wine was unusual and extremely affordable – Corton offers more than 10 bottles for less than $50 each and 6 for less than $40 each, a true steal in NYC. Elizabeth, the sommelier, is an absolute delight.
I have another friend who doesn’t like to repeat restaurants because he is in constant search for something new, but with a place like Corton it feels like you could go back often and have an entirely new experience each time. I hope I am lucky enough to make it back soon.
Address: 239 West Broadway (between Walker & White Streets) New York, NY 10013
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com