Saturday, August 10, 2013

Longman & Eagle

While I have been to Longman & Eagle several times, I have been there for lunch, brunch, and cocktails, I have never been for dinner.  As it has one of the best whiskey lists in the city and it has a Michelin Star besides, I knew that I was going to have to go one evening.  That evening arrived recently.  While I like the rustic interior, it was a beautiful evening and they have a nice patio so I decided to sit outside.  The menu is divided into Bar Snacks, Small Plates, and Large Plates, many of which are great for sharing.  I ordered something from each section.  For my first plate, my Bar Snack, I ordered the Pheasant Pate, Sourdough Tartines, Pickles (pickled vegetables), and Mustard.  I like pate and I like pheasant but I had never had them together so other than being good, I was unsure what it was going to be like.  This tasted like pate but it had a flavor that was a little more gamy.  I ate the pate like an open faced sandwich, spreading the mustard  on the sourdough and the pate on top of that.  The vegetables used in the pickle were carrots, cauliflower, and peppers and I ate that between bites of pate sandwiches.  As one might expect with the sourdough bread, the mustard, and the pickles, the dish was pretty sour but the sour went well with the pate.

For my appetizer, I got Blue Crab Ravioli with Black Truffles, Fava Beans, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Baby Greens, in a Tomato Consomme.  The blue crab was finely shredded and filled the perfectly cooked ravioli shells.  The shells were a firm "al dente" and again reminded  me that most pasta prepared at home is overcooked.  The pasta was topped with thinly sliced black truffles.  Truffles have a distinctly pungent flavor and while the flavor was there, it was much more subtle than I would have expected.  There were a couple of different types of cherry tomatoes, fava beans, and microgreens, which were all very fresh.  The tomatoes and the fava beans were sliced in half which made their flavor more immediate.  While this would have been good on it's own, when it was presented, a tomato consommé, which was very clear, was poured over it.  While the presentation/performance was kind of neat, I really didn't expect much from the consommé and actually expected it to be kind of bland given that it was very clear.  I was happily wrong on that point.  The consommé was warm and had the taste of fresh salted tomatoes which finished the dish well.

I was a little surprised by my entree, mainly because I misread the menu.  I was not disappointed because I liked all of the elements of the dish but it wasn't exactly what I expected.  The dish was a Monkfish Osso Bucco with Clams, Broccoli Rabe, Cremini Mushrooms, and many elements of corn: kernels, silk, and powdered.  When I think of osso bucco, I think of a steak, usually veal, with a cross cut bone showing the marrow hole.  I was expecting to get this in addition to the monkfish and clams.  I was not expecting the monkfish to be the meat surrounding the large bone.  I like monkfish, I was just not aware that there is anywhere on that fish that you would be able to find a bone that big and solid.  The clams, mushrooms, and broccoli rabe went together well with each other and the fish and while the corn kernels were good, the silk and powder were just odd.

You would think that after all of this food, I would be too full for dessert.  While I was satisfied and could have walked away, I am never one to turn down dessert and in this case, I was very happy that I went for it because it was a thing of beauty and it tasted as good as it looked.  My dessert was a  Pralined Pecan Terrine with Caramel & Bourbon, Espresso, Honey Foam, Chocolate, Malted Ice Cream, and Bourbon Panna Cotta.  The terrine was to me like a firm multi-layered custard and was served with some pecan brittle.  It had a layer of chocolate on one side and bourboned caramel on the other.  The interior layers combined pecans with espresso and honey foam.  The malted ice cream was sitting on some powdered malt and was very good.  While the bourbon panna cotta was a little thinner than I expect for a good panna cotta, it tasted good.  The bourbon was subtle but it was definitely there and it went well with the other stronger flavors within the terrine.  It was also garnished with cinnamon which was a good finish.

I really enjoyed my meal here and was glad I finally made it for dinner.  The waiter was friendly and able to answer my questions well and it was nice to sit out on the patio on a beautiful evening and enjoy some really good food.

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