Granny Smith – Red Delicious Apple, Blueberry
Kugelhopf – Chive Fromage Blanc
Mango-Jalapeno Pate de Fruit – Masa Cracker, Corn Puree, Tomatillo, Avocado, Pickled Onion
Fried Plantain – Shiso Leaf
Foie Gras Terrine & Marcona Almond Praline – Smoked Pear, Cider Gelee, Five Spice Granola
Red Wine Braised Tripe Gratine – Du Puy Lentils, Thyme
Filone – Cultured Butter
Roasted Crescent Duck Breast – Black Trumpet Crust, Fleischnacka, Ginger Jus
Grand Marnier Baba – Fresh Mango, Vanilla Ice Cream
Lambent, Mandarin Milk Chocolate – Peanut Butter Crunch, Mandarin Gelee, Milk Chocolate Crème
Pistachio Financier, Chocolate Tablet, Roasted Pineapple, Chocolate Praline
Answering several questions about the sustaining appeal of Fine Dining in an era of ‘hip’ eateries serving share plates, Gabriel Kreuther opened in 2016 to great acclaim from critics and fans of the Chef during his days at The Modern, the eponymous restaurant immediately climbing to the top of a Big Apple Bucket List thanks to previous memorable afternoons dining in the shadows of MoMA.
Located at 41 West 42nd Street, a sizable footprint with both Bar and “Main Dining” menus much like that at The Modern, Garbriel Kreuther is best described as Alsace by way of New York both in terms of its offerings and a flowing space backed by a beautiful display kitchen, the walls adorned with art and beams supporting high ceilings – every bit a ‘white linen’ restaurant, yet at the same time young and vibrant.
Long considered one of New York’s most admirable toques, Michelin Stars following him from kitchen to kitchen since his days at Jean Georges and L’Atelier, Chef Kreuther’s first foray as Chef and Proprietor sees him joined by many staff members from his previous stint, the midday Manager on duty a youthful woman who stated that she had been with Kreuther for almost ten years while another server had also migrated over from the Modern along with Marc Aumont who remains one of Manhattan’s top pastry talents while pulling double duty at the Restaurant and Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate next door.
Open six days a week for Dinner, Monday through Friday for a slightly truncated Lunch menu, it was having spoken to the restaurant in advance regarding the addition of Bar items to the $29 per plate Prix-Fixe that seating was offered along a lengthy banquet just two-tables away from Hollywood royalty, the service ever gracious for both he and everyone around him with as a savory Kugelhopf arrived even before an order was placed, the springy Bread excellent on its own and better with spreadable Chive Fromage Blanc.
Porting over some ideas from The Modern, though Kreuther’s unique marriage of Continental Cuisine with Fusion is a fairly recognizable style that yields beautiful plates that remain accessible, it was with a non-alcoholic beverage of roasted Red Delicious apples and Blueberry that a pair of nibbles arrived, the Fried Plantain wrapped in a raw Shiso Leaf dynamic, if not a bit sweet, while the spicy Pate de Fruit topped by a Crisp with Corn, Avocado and Onion seemed oddly Mexican for a man from Southern France operating in Midtown Manhattan.
Always offering both hot and cold preparations of Duck Liver, and at this point actually four different dishes when accounting for both the Bar and Main Dining menus, late-Spring sees Kreuther’s Foie Gras ‘Praline’ served after a roll in crushed Marcona Almonds atop Smoked Pear and Five Spice Granola, the flavors and textures both wide-ranging and well thought out with no additional Bread required for spreading the Terrine.
Turning to the Bar for course two, the menu there largely Alsatian with items like Liverwurst, Veal Dumplings and Flammekuech taking center stage, it was shortly after finishing the Foie Gras that a steamy bowl of Tripe arrived with Lentils Du Puy forming a thick and comforting Stew along with two types of Beans, both this dish and a follow-up of Duck Breast in a Mushroom Crust taking rustic ideas and spinning them elegant – the latter going so far as to pair the roasted Fowl with a classic French Pastry Snail filled with Forcemeat.
Unable to resist such good Bread, both the Kugelhopf and Filone with Cultured Butter mostly gone along with all of the toasted Baguette used for sopping up the Red Wine broth from the Tripe, it was with the Grand Marnier Baba from the Bar acting as a palate cleanser that the meal was placed in Chef Aumont’s hands, the Fresh Mango and Vanilla Ice Cream deliciously hidden beneath a cloud of Milk while “Lambent, Mandarin Milk Chocolate” proved that Citrus and Cocoa can work beautifully when made with skill and subtlety, the crunchy Peanut Butter base and crumbled Pistachios beneath Orange Sorbet foreshadowing Mignardises including classic Financiers, a half-Macaron shaped Roasted Pineapple Chocolate and crunchy Praline.