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Sep 25, 2011 11:51 PM

Our meal at Le Grand Fooding: what did you get?

I went to Friday night's Dufour/Carmellini 9PM seating at Le Grand Fooding. The event and the food far surpassed my expectations. It was fun, lively, and ran surprisingly smoothly considering it was the first event in the space. The food was spectacular and just kept coming. We got free round trip car service thanks to the Mastercard sponsorships - many thanks to Kathryn for tweeting the link to tickets for mastercard holders.
As for the food, first they passed oysters (fresh, delicious) and dried beet oreos (with whipped goat cheese - tasty, but not worth ruining my appetite). The first course was langoustines, halved, grilled (I think) and incredibly abundant. More delicate then lobster and perfectly cooked. Then Foie gras 2 ways: first salt cured foie gras with apple, dashi, gelee, mustard seeds served with brioche. Also delicate, cooked just right, absolutely perfect. Then Foie gras course #2, entire lobes grilled, with maple syrup, served family style. Rare, meaty, more rustic, very good, and more than we could possibly eat. Then turbot, which I think was flown in live from France. Served with a lovely sauce (butter, cream?) and nice root vegetables. Unexpectedly great. Somehow they managed to strike a balance between delicate, innovative, and hearty food with real character all night. Then came the pigeon (not too locally sourced, I hope) with pain de gibier: a toast with liver and ceps. With bacon and currants (?) and some wonderful red cabbage with walnuts. Woodsy, gamey, nice taste of autumn. Best moment was when Andrew Carmellini passed a platter of barbecued pigeon bones. I took one and dug in but the better mannered crowd all seemed to pass it up.Who could pass up getting their face dirty with pigeon bones? Dessert was ice cream with figs and strawberries, but I was too full to budge at that point. Dufour and Carmellini were winning in their tuxedo T-shirts, and described most of the dishes, but they were often too soft spoken to be heard in the big room. Congrats to the organization for making such a fun event run so smoothly. $100 for such a fantastic, memorable meal, almost unlimited champagne, round trip car service, tax and tip (well, there was no tip) included is a pretty amazing deal. I wish I had bought tickets to more events.

I'd love to know more from anyone else who went to an event. I'm wondering if all of the meals were this spectacular. It's probably the only time I'll see people turning away more oysters, langoustines, champagne, and foie gras. More photos here:

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  1. I agree with you, I went to Le Grand Fooding, Exquisite corpse with Mauro Colagreco on Sunday and it was really memorable.
    Even the lunch was super early in the morning (9AM) and we were full from the previous night, we ate it all.
    Pictures of the lunch and chef here:

    1 Reply
    1. re: jmoranmoya

      So what is a potato ear? Just a goofy joke? (there were a few menus that listed ears)
      Nice pictures.

    2. Went to the Ana Ros one 9am Saturday, overall great experience, will have a write up on the meal in my blog in the next day or so.

      1. Came up from Philly for an all out food fest all weekend, capped off by the Massimo Bottura seating at Le Fooding on Sunday night. It was wonderful. Aside from the hot room and some warm champagne. Chef Bottura was engaging, fun, and the experience overall was unforgettable. The lamb, cod, and bitter dessert were great. He was really passionate about the whole event and that is so awesome to see comi from one of the 3 best chefs in the world. This needs to be a tradition.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Gorp512

          This is the 3rd year of Le Fooding in NYC in some form, I think. Carmellini and Dufour's meal was far more exciting than anything I've had at The Dutch or Locanda Verde (which is saying something). I think the chefs have an immense sense of pride for this event, coupled with some healthy one-upmanship. The room was hot on Friday night too, but it was still cold outside and the event itself was so much fun it didn't make much of a difference.

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: hungrycomposer

            was my first time i went to a Le Fooding event and it was a lot of fun, mos def going to check it out again next yr! I did a whole write up in my blog about the ana Ros dinner if anyone is interested, i would post the link up but chowhound will inevitably delete it.

            1. re: jester99

              Copy and paste the text of the review here. Then add the link w/ the caption "To see photos" and they won't delete it. You're allowed to link out for photos.

              1. re: kathryn


                Here is the basic bulk on the food:

                Working in a cramped kitchen space, the chef managed to set a steady tempo to the meal staring out with ear ravioli, served in a trout broth. The broth had a piece of nori and sprinkle of sesame that gave it a light Asian undertone with a nice addition of fish roe exploding with each bite. The broth was light and flavorful which worked well with the cheesy ravioli, despite being a bit more al dente than it should be.

                The next course was a deer tartar was served with a balsamic apple reduction, a fennel sauce and an olive oil emulsion-like sauce. I actually never had deer, I have had Rudolph before (sorry kiddies, the bright red nose doesn’t affect how awesome it tastes) so I am not sure if it is comparable, I am not a zoologist. I expected it to have an assertive gaminess to it but it was surprisingly more of a lingering after taste. The deer was rich and the reduction and sauces accompanying it worked well with the deer.

                The pinnacle of this meal was the black cod, smothered in black truffle foam and blanched asparagus. The foam evoked and perfumed the woodiness and sweet mellow smell of truffles. Each inhalation was a complete sensory overload and as if there was not enough truffle-ness going on, tucked underneath the cod, were black truffle shavings. The cod was cooked perfectly and the sauce on first glance looks like a typical old school Escoffier heavy sauce was creamy yet light. It was a sop dish, meaning you take a piece of bread and you sop up any remaining sauce on your plate.

                Finally the dessert was a goat milk cream with honey figs, almonds, thyme I believe candied olive or brittle and a cake like crumble. I was unfortunately not able to ask much about the dishes but the tangy goat milk with the honey figs worked nicely and the savory notes from the candied olives were nice too. It was a good finish to the meal, a dessert that was just sweet enough and a pleasant ending.

                For more pictures and more about the whole event check out my blog: