Degustation - Our Experience
My husband and I had a terrific dinner at Degustation last night. I enjoyed the bar set-up and the space overall is very elegant. The service is top-notch, friendly and knowledgeable and we enjoyed watching Chef Genovart at work. There were a couple of disappointments, but we left very happy and sated.
We ate -
Spanish "tortilla," Quail Egg and Shallot Confit
The best dish we had, by far. It is a wonderful mix of flavors and textures.
Pork belly and tomatillos in a watermelon gazpacho*
Very good, but suffered when we compared it to the pork belly at Tailor.
Seared Scallops in a Mussel Broth with sea beans, grapes and dehydrated cherry tomatoes
Perfectly cooked and all the ingredients really complimented each other. The cherry tomatoes were especially delicious.
Bonito en Escabeche with black olives and micro arugula
A beautiful piece of fish. I really loved the dehydrated olives with the smooth slightly fatty flavor of the fish.
"Cheese steak" with tomato and roasted red pepper escalivada, raclette cheese emulsion, pain de mie and herb salad
This was one of my top favorites as it was crunchy, salty, sweet and tangy. So, so good.
Squid with heirloom tomatoes*
The squid was tender and the tomatoes were fresh and delicious.
Quail and shitake mushrooms*
The quail was cooked perfectly, but I was a bit underwhelmed with the dish as a whole. There wasn’t much excitement on the plate.
Chocolate covered banana with macadamia nut coating*
This was a big disappointment, as it ended up being a pretty boring chocolate covered banana and what tasted like chocolate pudding.
Assorted cheese plate
I regretted the chocolate dessert I ordered once I saw the cheese plate. It was a gorgeous selection and the pairings were amazing. Skip the sweets and order this instead.
*These are not the proper names from the menu, but I didn’t write them down and can’t remember the exact wording.
we got last-minute reservations for 10:45pm on this past friday night... they were a little late to seat us but handled it nicely by giving us small shots of champagne. it was an adorable little dining room; loved the ambiance... unfortunately that was the end of anything pleasant about our dinner. took forever to place our order for a bottle of wine... took a long time for it to come out, too. nearly an hour after our 10:45 reservation is when i finally started sipping on my wine. getting the waitress' attention to order was difficult as well. she was tied up, to my horror, in an argument with the two diners next to me; they were confused when they thought they received something they didn't order, and didn't want. i wasn't there when they ordered so i can't say who was actually right, but the staff handled it poorly and got fairly confrontational, then went to discuss it amongst themselves in the open kitchen within earshot of all of us.
anyway, i was looking forward to hearing what the tasting menu might involve, since there wasn't a whole lot on the regular menu that interested me (i'm vegetarian, except for seafood). was disappointed that the tasting menu turned out to be just some dishes from the regular menu. rather, we ordered a la carte. i got three things, my dining companion got four... i tried everything from his plates i could eat, too. the croquetas were fine, the sauce they were in was quite good, but the fried layer around the outside was too thick in my opinion. the scallops were beautiful-looking but were a little too chewy. the red snapper with the citrus salsa was delicious, until i got to the middle where the fish was raw and slimy. i let half of that dish go uneaten, a shame because we both ended up leaving the restaurant hungry. had a vegetable canneloni dish that was really nothing out of this world. top it off, we found our wines rather dull. we didn't bother with dessert; we just left hungry and out nearly $200. did i just go on an off night? i almost always agree with the chowhounds... and on this trip to nyc had several other great meals elsewhere... but almost every detail of our experience at degustation was terrible.
I had a great experience at Degustation. The service was warm and friendly and informative. the food was presented beautifully - though the servings are small - not really enough to share. ditto on the dessert - the cheese plate was perfect and the sweet pairings to the cheese more than enough to satisfy a sweet tooth - and actually - the cheese serving was enough for two - easily. recommend the esparagus the "tortilla" and the cheesteak.
the place has a vibe i like - though i think it's only good to go for two people - the bar seating would make it difficult for 3 or more to talk. I'll assuredly return.
Overall I was satisfied with my experience...for those of you who haven't been, don't over-hype it and set your expectations too high. For a more notable inside-the-kitchen bar-front dining experience, I would go for L'atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons. Have been to locations in Paris as well as Macau, and always a fabulous experience even when the mental bar is set very high...
I like to eats.
i have to say, with all the hype, i was rather underwhelmed by degustation when i went this june. the only dishes that i truly loved were the short rib stuffed squid and the sweetbreads. everything else from the 'tortilla' to the lamb belly (ultra fatty and bland) were totally forgettable.
the place was nice though. the priorat i had was delicious and priced well. ive heard mixed things about jack lamb but he was nothing but kind and professional.