Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Korean Fluke, Wasabi, Myoga Ginger
Hokkaido Sea Urchin, Black Truffle, Brioche
Scottish Langoustine, Bouillabaisse
New Bedford Diver Scallop, Crisped Kelp, Sea Foam
Chiba Akamutsu, Nori, Asparagus
Kaluga Queen Caviar, Crushed Yellow Creamer Potatoes
Kyushu Madai, Chanterelles
Norwegian King Crab, Dill, Mustard Blooms
Koshihikari Rice – Foie Gras, Abalone, Uni, Charred Garlic Chive
French Quail, Japanese Mustard, Blackberry
A5 Miyazaki Wagyu, Spring Chive, Horseradish
Malaga Strawberries, Yogurt
Dark Chocolate Tart, Finger Lime Tart
Said by many to be the most precise Kitchen of its kind outside of Japan, Chef César Ramirez moved Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare to Midtown West in December 2016, at that point relaxing his rules about photography and adding seats beyond the countertop, the reservation still one of the most difficult in New York for ten services weekly at an all-in cost of $354.42 for Champagne, Coffee or Tea and fourteen courses of the world’s best ingredients gently coaxed to their utmost potential.
Born in the Midwest of Mexican descent, but well traveled and trained in Michelin Starred kitchens including TRU and David Bouley stateside, Chef Ramirez originally opened Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in 2010 and having since become infamous for both his photography and notes policies as well as allegations regarding racism it can only be said the restaurant has battled and sustained in the face of adversity, reviews since the move calling it better than ever due to the expanded space and even better quality sourcing.
Welcoming each guest upon entry, the restaurant’s location at the back of a Grocery Store giving it a sort of “in the know” or speak-easy feel, those fortunate enough to secure a seat at Ramirez’s counter are requested to arrive on time with an open mind, most items presented by César or one of his managers, the ingredients rarely “locally sourced,” as the restaurant instead focuses on finding the best of everything, a Champagne welcome quickly followed by a Tartlette of Korean Fluke Tartare with freshly grated Wasabi and thin slices of Myoga Ginger.
Changing the menu nightly, the soft-spoken yet surprisingly personable Ramirez taking time at various points to discuss his motivation to only serve things that he finds truly delicious, course two has become one of the Chef’s few ‘signatures,’ the umami-laden combination of several tongues of Urchin curled atop buttered Brioche with Black Truffle best taken in a single, unctuous bite while a follow-up of lightly cooked Scottish Langoustine in Bouillabaisse was the night’s first fork and knife plate, the Crustacean light and sweet with the Sauce thicker than the traditional French Stew and far more concentrated in its taste.
Continuing on with a freshly shucked Diver Scallop hidden in foam, the Red Sea Perch to follow perhaps as delicate a piece of cooked Fish as one can find stateside with crispy scales playing off Asparagus tips lightly seasoned by Seaweed, course six embraced Thomas Keller’s idea of over-serving luxury ingredients by placing a heaping spoonful of Kaluga Queen Caviar atop hand-crushed Potatoes, the Sea Bream flown in that day from the coast of Kyushu immediately putting comments about the Chiba Akamutsu into question as the meaty, lean filet’s sweet taste was placed in sharp contrast to Chanterelle Mushrooms and a Sauce made of little more than their cooking Juices and Butter.
Crossing the menu’s midway point with fresh picked Norwegian King Crab in a creamy pool of fresh Dill, aromatic Oil and Mustard flowers, the enormous Red Crab on display in the kitchen likely large enough to yield enough Meat for everyone in the room, course ten was delivered as “the night’s Rice course” by a former manager at Atera, the addition of Foie Gras, Abalone, Uni and Garlic Chives to a base that ate almost like Pearl Barley every bit as rich as it sounds and a good transition from the Seafood to a half- French Quail painted in Japanese Mustard and served in a sauce made predominantly of Blackberries.
Continuing to focus on perfect ingredients treated with respect, the fattiest piece of Wagyu ever seen in person lightly finished with what was essentially a heat-gun after what may have been less than 5-seconds on the grill, palates were cleansed by way of Shiso Sorbet before transitioning to wild Spanish Strawberries served over house-strained Yogurt, two-shots of Espresso brewed from Beans out of Guatemala enjoyed in tiny sips along with Tarts of Dark Chocolate and Finger Lime at the end of a 160-minute experience that felt like it had only lasted half that.