Joe Beef x Vetri Cucina
Mackerel and Ham Persille, Dijon, Toast
Celeriac and Urchin Remoulade
PChicken Oyster and Morel Veloute
Microwave Foie Gras and Winter Truffles, Pumpkin Seed Bread
Trout Gateau Chaud and Crayfish Sauce
Smoked Eel Carbonara
Veal and Cabbage Orloff with Winter Truffle, Brussels Sprouts
Potato Puree and Sweetbreads
Cardinal Peaches, Short Bread Cookies
Hazelnut Macaron, Caramel Profiteroles, Madeline, Chocolates
Sugar Coated Soft Chocolate Truffles
Rarely a fan of “pop-ups,” or “special guest chef” dinners it was largely to support Vetri Cucina that a two-top was booked for the Joe Beef collaboration, a 2012 visit memorable for both scene and Food while “The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts” remains a personal favorite piece of literature amongst a fairly diverse collection.
Heavily promoted by both The Palms and Marc Vetri, his dining room on the 56th floor playing host to Chefs Frederic Morin and David McMillan plus their six course menu, it was in promotion of the Montreal duo’s second book titled “Surviving the Apocalypse” that guests were served, a total of $150 plus tax and tip garnering ten plates plus take home gifts including a copy of the book simply signed “Fred.”
No doubt a high profile event, several local Chefs and writers seen across the room, it was after chatting with Coop at the bar that seats were taken, Wine pairings declined on a work night and things starting off with housemade Toast alongside chunky Terrine of Fish, Pork and Gelatin plus a central plate of thinly sliced Celeriac whose earthy tones surprisingly worked well with the saline sweetness of Uni.
Offering each course similarly, one individual item plus another intended to be shared, round two presented rich ingredients in a manner focused on nuance, the fact that Morels are well out-of-season potentially why Soup afloat with Choux and Dark-Meat Chicken came across a little too salty while “life-hack” Foie Gras prepared in a Microwave was creamy and spreadable on lightly sweetened Seed-Bread.
Onward to a Fish Course, the traditional Tasting Menu progression not appreciated until later, it was somewhere between Panna Cotta and Quenelles de Brochet that “Trout Gateau Chaud” occupied space, the Crayfish Sauce traditional and all the better for it while Chef Vetri’s talents no doubt came in handy as relates to al dente Noodles slicked with Egg Yolk and Pepper around bits of smoked Eel.
Rounding out savories with Morin and McMillan’s interpretation of Veal Orloff, a dish from the 1800s featuring thinly sliced Meat and Mushrooms, it seems likely Sous-vide was employed to create this extra-tender version offering Winter Truffles and Forcemeat at the center, while a bowl of whipped Potatoes with Herb Butter felt mostly like an excuse to use Offal as the Sweetbreads did not “add” anything that couldn’t have been achieved by putting them on the plate.
Underutilizing Vetri’s Pastry kitchen to finish, a small bowl of Peaches in Syrup with thick Cream actually highlighted by the Short Bread, Mignardises did not particularly “fit” though they were enjoyable while Sugar Coated Chocolate Truffles intended as a take-home gift were soft, creamy and gone before reaching the door.
N/A: Difficult to assess as a whole, servers buzzing about in an attempt to keep up with staggered seating and a room likely turning at least four times the covers of a typical Wednesday, the Joe Beef x Vetri Cucina collaboration was nonetheless enjoyable for what it was, though having personally visited both Restaurants on a typical night the fact remains that pop-ups are never a fair display of the real deal.