North- you've managed to WOW me again!!!
Last night, we decided to bail on our plans to eat in Manhattan and stick closer to home. What a wise move! We headed up to North, and with no reservation, figured we'd take our chances on getting seats at the bar. Scored 2 seats on the end!! Our bartender Aileen got us started w/ a whiskey for the husband and a wonderful Sancerre for me. Her recommendations for the evening were spot on. AIleen was a warm and friendly "dining guide" for the evening. I was so happy to take all her advice!
The winter menu selections are really unique and artisanal, but also very "cozy" for this time of year.
We started with the Carbonara Flatbread which had all the awesome taste of carbonara, but was so light! It was spread with a wonderful slurry of egg yolk and all the good flavor of carbonara w/ rendered guanciale on top. Oh yum!! Then, we had the wonderful and light beet salad. All different types of beets, roasted and then served cool, in a delicate dressing w/ a dollop of delicious goat cheese underneath.
We knew we wanted the fettucini w/ freshly shaved truffles, but had to first pay homage to the piping hot pumpernickle rolls and apple butter w/ rosemary salt. No joke- I could make a meal of this amazing bread and butter combo!! We ordered a half order of the fettucini w/ freshly shaved truffles. I cannot even accurately describe this phenomenal sauce. It was rich and creamy and a perfect showcase for the fragrant, earthy truffles. It was not in the least bit heavy or overwhelming. My husband called it perfection on a plate. The best part was meeting the chef, Eric Gabrynowicz, when he came out to shave the truffles and present the plate. Besides being an innovative chef, he happens to be exceptionally nice. He answered our questions and accepted our praises with such a gracious smile. Additionally, we were offered a full-bodied red wine to accompany the fettucini. Just the right earthiness to go along w/ it!! ( I am sorry I forgot the name)
Chef Gabrynowicz suggested a scallop crudo w/ apple puree and thinly sliced Seckle pear atop.
A wonderful combination of sea and Fall flavors. It wasn't sweet and it wasn't sour. It was sort of both at the same time w/ a hint of salt. Very fresh. Very enjoyable.
We moved on to the 24 week Poulet and this I have to say- this may be one of the best things I have ever eaten. North gets these very special birds ( black foot, I believe) from the only farmer in the country to breed them- I think.
The poulet comes over a raviolo that is filled with egg yolk and a chicken liver mousse/pate. From the poulet! And love from the chef! The poulet itself was cooked and seasoned to perfection and we fought each other for the dark meat. The skin was so crisp and tasty and the meat was so flavorful and soft!! I do not eat dark meat and I do not like dark meat- but I could not get enough of this!!
We debated ordering an extra poulet b/c it was THAT GOOD!! Instead, the husband decided he couldn't leave w/out the Orecchiette Bolognese. It's a lamb bolognese that was so good on our last visit, we had to have it again.
And then we had dessert, although I must confess, I was so very stuffed from all our dinner that I could only have a few bites of the super apple crisp w/ vanilla ice cream in a hot skillet.
As we were getting ready to leave, Chef Gabrynowicz presented us w/ a take home bag. He had done this for me on our very first visit when he sent me home w/ soft shell crabs on ice and everything I needed to recreate the dish at home ( There was no way it could ever be as good as when he made it!) This time, we got a portion of the dark meat of the poulet with instructions on how to crisp it up at home!! Oh heaven!!
I just love everything about the feel and the vibe at North. It is cozy and homey and vibrant and elegant all at the same time. We are not connected to anybody at the restaurant, but we are always treated like we are so very special. Like we were at the home of our good friends.
Of course, the food is outrageously good and the menu offerings are each so interesting and well conceived- what's not to like. Our evening at North has indeed Wow'd us again!!!
Laylag- my description of the Carbonara Flatbread and everything else we ate didn't even do it justice. I was on such an eating bender that I didn't pay close enough attention to remember all the ingredients and how things were prepared so I could write in fullest detail. We are still talking about how positively delicious it all was. And the best was, it was completely a "wing it" sort of night. We had no idea if we'd end up being able to stay b/c we weren't sure if we'd be able to sit!
Please do put it on your list and be super open-minded to try anything...