CHILLEDPEA SOUP 薄荷青豆冷汤
CARAMELIZEDMILK BREAD 焦糖牛奶面包
13年年底，和我一样都是Placebo脑残粉的英国厨师Paul Liebrandt，宣布离开TriBeCa备受好评的米其林二星餐厅Corton，令不少纽约食客深为扼腕。开在这个位置的餐厅，似乎总是不太好运，Corton的前身Montrachet，在营业12年后草草结业，而它的继任，终也没逃过关张的命运。正当所有人以为，翠贝卡与西村交界处的这个铺面行将就此空置，两间餐厅幕后投资人、名店Nobu创始人、纽约餐饮圈红人，头衔很多的Drew Nieporent却冷不丁宣布，一家名为Bâtard的餐厅将接替Corton，延续他本人的勃艮第情结—
勃艮第（Burgundy）那些盛产特级葡萄酒的村镇，大家是很耳熟能详了—Corton也好，Bâtard-Montrachet也罢，皆典出于此。Drew Nieporent对勃艮第的情有独钟，正是这一系列餐厅诞生的始因，但在纽约安身立命之根本，还在于主厨能耐几何—坐镇Bâtard后厨的，是奥地利人Markus Glocker，辗转在伦敦Claridge’s酒店和纽约The London酒店的餐厅厨房，师从骂起人来非常可怕的Gordon Ramsay，并在维也纳、柏林、芝加哥等地多间米其林餐厅都留下足迹的他，首度担纲一间高级餐室的执行主厨，倒显得十分游刃有余。老辣的厨师星探Nieporent，又怎会看人走眼？
当然，Glocker先生并不是一个人在战斗。推开两道玻璃门，迎面一位身着休闲西服、头发灰白却极优雅的中年男子报以迷人的微笑，寒暄片刻、轻车熟路地领你去往订好的餐座— John Winterman，著名法餐Daniel前任maître d’hôtel—你知道，出色的餐厅经理/领班，对于一家高级餐厅的回头率，亦有着不输主厨的决定性作用。
而这一次，也终于吃到那道著名甜点，焦糖牛奶面包（ Caramelized milk bread)，我对这道甜点究竟爱到了一个什么程度呢？请参考这个公众号的头像，也就是本文题图。
人均消费: 两道菜 $55 | 三道菜 $69 | 四道菜 $79
获奖情况：2015年米其林指南一星；《纽约时报》三星；2015年James Beard Award年度最佳新餐厅
Were I to list the most important, as well as influential, restaurateurs of the past 30 years, Drew Nieporent’s name would be pretty close to the top. The man is a born host, gregarious, scrappy, gossipy and very serious about his food and wine.
I might as easily hail Nieporent for his charity work as for his restaurants—raising $1 million for the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund, benefit dinners for Citymeals-on-Wheels, and much more that have earned him the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2000 from the James Beard Foundation. But in the world of gastronomy, Nieporent—whom I’ll call Drew from here on—and his Myriad Restaurant Group are counted as one of the most innovative in the industry.
It all really began with a restaurant called Montrachet, which opened three decades ago on an unlighted, cobblestone street in TriBeCa with more cracks than surface, back then a no man’s land not so much because it was dangerous but because it was nowhere. What Drew did with Montrachet, with a loan from his mother and the talents of his first chef David Bouley, was to throw lights on West Broadway by opening up a moderately priced French restaurant that won immediate media acclaim and became one of the must-go places that influenced so many to follow.
Myriad went on to open the first Nobu, then more of them, and TriBeCa Grill is still counted among New York’s most iconic restaurants. There were some missteps along the way, overexpansion in obscure locations like Telluride, and some catty feuds with his chefs.
As crowds waned at Montrachet, Drew re-invented it as Corton, also much praised for chef Paul Liebrandt’s highly creative cuisine but too cerebral for too many people. So Drew closed it again, and, with partner John Winterman, re-opened as Batard (all the restaurant’s names have referred to Burgundy), with Austrian-born Markus Glocker, formerly chef de cuisine at NYC’s Gordon Ramsay at The London, as well as Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and Restaurant Steirereck in Vienna. The crowds are again building.
Photo: John Winterman, Drew Nieporent and Chef Markus Glocker
Not too much has been done to the premises (above), although several tables—and all the tablecloths—have been removed. The minimalist, unadorned bas-relief walls have a golden shimmer and the lighting is excellent. I’d only love to have a small pot of highly colorful flowers on the naked tables. And it’s loud (that is under current consideration).
What’s also changed, to everyone’s delight, are the prices, now a very reasonable $55 for two courses, $65 for three and $75 for four. (By comparison to restaurants in Batard’s league, the main courses alone at Gotham Bar & Grill run $36-$52; at Gramercy Tavern the three-course menu is $92; at Dovetail, four courses run $88.) And while the wine list has been whittled down a bit, it’s still formidable and very well priced, especially for some Burgundies they’ve had a for a long while that you won’t find easily at these prices.
With my party of four, I ranged over a menu of just the right size—eight starters, seven main courses, plus a couple of specials—from a lovely chilled pea soup with unexpected and delicious slivers of fluke, braised shallots and salsify crumble to Octopus pastrami with braised ham hock, Pommery mustard and new potatoes, which shows off a bit of Glocker’s Austrian heritage. Lobster was perfectly cooked, served with green asparagus, zucchini blossom, and citrus rind, while Parmesan-drenched risotto was properly tender, perked up with pickled sunchokes, garbanzo beans and lovage.
Apparently a big hit, and for good reason, “rabbit flavors of bouillabaisse” with saffron ravioli, turnips, carrots and a sauce rouille is just novel enough to applaud and classic enough to acknowledge. Viennese tradition comes into charming play with Glocker’s crisp and buttery baby chicken schnitzel with potato salad, the tubers cooked in lovage-infused veal stock.
Lamb for two is indeed generous enough for a couple ($15 supplement), plated as a generous roasted rack, shoulder confit, crispy lamb bacon, fava beans and tangy lemon, arriving in a Creuset ramekin.
For your third course you must decide between a superb selection of perfectly ripe cheeses or four desserts, all of them very good, from Key lime pie with a buckwheat crust, cilantro and herbal ice cream to a caramelized milk bread with fennel yogurt, strawberries and brown butter ice cream. The banality of all those dense Black Forest cakes of the past is here redeemed with a rich, moist chocolate sablée, kirsch chantilly, Bing cherries.
If the restaurant at 239 West Broadway needed redemption, Drew Nieporent certainly hasn’t. He remains not just vital to New York’s restaurant scene but at this point has achieved the station of an elder who still has much to tell those flailing about in mere novelty about the true excellence in maturity.
239 West Broadway, at White Street
Notable Chef/Owners, Modern Fine Dining, French, Prix-Fixe, Recently Opened
Chef: Markus Glocker
Recently, I had the pleasure of dining at Bâtard, one of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings for the Spring. Read about my experience below.
While Bâtard is somewhat upscale/French, the ambiance was more young and relaxed than we had expected. The restaurant was buzzing and slightly loud. The crowd consisted of Tribeca neighborhood goers and food enthusiasts. Patrons were very “Tribeca”- mature/trendy, ranging from late 20’s – late 30s. No signs of pretentious staff here. With a more accessible menu and setting than it’s predecessor, Bâtard welcomes all diners with open arms.
The decor is basic, sleek and modern. Banquettes with wooden tables sans tablecloths line the perimeter of the space. There are also a number of free standing round tables that are perfect for groups of 5-6. Low lighting complimented the golden floral patterned walls and helped round out the more “hip” feel.
Menu & Cuisine Highlights
We tried 5 of the 16 savory courses. The standouts were the octopus pastrami and the veal tenderloin. The octopus and veal were both cooked to perfection. The veal was tender and melt in your mouth good, all the flavors came together in a perfect harmony. The octopus was unusual and outstanding- just as addicting as eating pastrami at the Katz’s counter while waiting for your order.
The tortellini lay over a bed of sauce with a hint of sweetness. They were good, but nothing to write home about. We’d order the lobster again and pass on the oysters.
Separated into three sections, 8 starters, 8 mains and 5 desserts
What we ordered:
- Warm kusshi oysters (fried pig tails, pickles)
- Maine lobster (green asparagus, zucchini blossom, citrus rind)
- Octopus “pastrami” (braised ham hock, pommery mustard, new potatoes)
- Black olive tortellini (preserved garlic, basil, radicchio)
- Veal tenderloin (“tramezinni” asparagus, mushrooms, sauce diable)
I loved the Pimm’s Cup (which consisted of Pimm’s Liqueur, had a heavy ginger flavor, and was garnished with orange, mint and cucumber). The rest of the party stuck with glasses of Rose and dirty martinis.
Black forest (chocolate sable, chantilly, bing cherries): Mixed reviews on this dessert. I thought the dessert was very rich but the portion was small, and the cherries paired perfectly with the chocolate flavors.
The service was pretty good. Upon arrival, we were given champagne compliments of the house, as well as warm caraway and sourdough rolls. Our waiter was young and personable, but very knowledgeable and attentive. The time lapse between courses was slightly long, but of course we took the fact that the restaurant just opened into consideration.
We received a private tour of the kitchen and met Executive Chef Markus Glocker (formerly Chef de Cuisine at Gordon Ramsay at the London). Dining at Bâtard was a truly unique experience!