Review: 5x5 Chef's Collaborative @ Ink. with pictures including all 7 chefs!
What an Amazing Night!!
Since we arrived early we decided to go next door to Ink Sack and try M. Voltaggio's Jose Andres Sandwich (a mini one at that) but extremely tasty and very well done, with Manchego cheese and Spanish Chorizo, I loved that they "dress" the greens in the sandwich with a light vinaigrette, it makes all the difference.
Later arrived at Ink Restaurant and started at the bar with one of there great drinks... mine had honey & ginger amongst other things and it was strong but balanced and very good. I do have to pick at one little thing (though minor and understandable due to the special event) I wanted an "off the menu" drink, but they politely declined to make it saying they are only serving from the menu proper, if that would have been any other night, that would have put me off a bit, however it's excusable due to the nature of the event.
Thanks to my dining companions who had arranged for us to be seated at the Chef's Table... we had the whole back room of the restaurant to ourselves, away from the louder music and commotion of the main dining area.
Service, as I have always experienced at Ink. was superb. Water glasses never reached more than the half line before they were filled again, waiters and the manager checked in on us often, if not more.
I believe we were the only table who all 7 chefs came out to take pictures with and thank us. What an honor that was.
A few times, the manager came out and asked us about our favorite dishes of the evening... and I think it was pretty unanimous: The Gazpacho Granita from Josiah Citrin of Melisse and the Monkfish from Michael Cimarusti of Providence... we had not yet had the dessert (Alex Talbot from Ideas in Food) but when our final dish arrived, we found ourselves scraping the bowl! it was that good... the ice cream tasted of corn flakes and milk! Delicious!
The overall experience, for $150 was a bargain in my book... 7 talented chefs including Alex Talbot and guest chef and brother to Michael Voltaggio, Brian Voltaggio in one night... its a rare occasion many of us get to experience in one night.
My Favorite dish was of course Melisse's Gazpacho Granita. It's much more difficult to perfect a dish when its so light, and a cold dish at that, and to also make it so flavorful and comforting, I wanted a whole bowl of it and I could have eaten it all summer long.
The only dish of the night that was a little off was Angelini's Maltagliati di Polenta...The "pasta" a little thick and too aldente... taste was excellent, though a bit salty however texture-wise it was a "miss" in my book.
Also much to my surprise, Brian Voltaggio's Lambchetta, though delicious and nice combination of flavors... was too dry and the accompanying Almond and other dish components did not help... I would have liked the lamb a bit more rare - Au Jus, It felt like eating meat with a spoonful of Peanut Butter... Not to say the lamb was dry, because it was not, but there was a lack of juices in the dish.
sorry Brian, but it's true...
Still loved to have been in such presence of amazing chefs and to have the opportunity to see both Voltaggio Brothers cooking at the same event, which does not happen very often!
Overall, Lovely Evening! can't wait for 2013!
yes, I'm also a sucker for a "clean" plate... and my pasta dish was brought kinda messy... for $150, you are paying for perfection... but that aside, the pasta did not really work for me nor for the rest of my table... I also agree it was not in the Ink. style at all, but it is Angelini Osteria after all therefore it's very understandable the rusticness of the dish... just wish it had been better executed.