Friday, October 30, 2015

New York: Atera

green tomato, juniper

herbs and flowers, shrimp

baerii caviar, pistachio, beer

waffle, cheddar, mushroom

melon, mustard

golden whitefish roe, venison, potato

crab, tomato, rose, hip

razor clam, beet, horseradish

oyster, broccoli, celery

whole wheat batard

scallop, bitter greens, miso

sourdough croissant

turbot, shallot

celeriac, truffle

foie gras, black current, apple, peanut

lamb en croute, huckleberry, burnt onion

grape, milk, pine

licorice, blueberry


Earlier this year, chef Ronny Emborg moved from Copenhagen to New York take the helm as Executive chef at Atera. Normally after a chef departure I would wait a year for the chef to settle in but I took a leap of faith based on Emborg's pedigree (he spent some time at el Bulli under Ferran Adria, Mugaritz, and Geranium in Copenhagen). Copenhagen is a force to be reckon with so you really can't go wrong with a Danish chef. Besides, Emborg was able to retain Atera's two Michelin stars so he's off to a great start.

So on to the tasting menu...

I can sense a playfulness in his dishes but it's all his own. I'm glad the gimmicks were kept to a minimum and the local ingredients shined through and through. The plating was beautiful which is expected from the Danish chef. The dish that really stood out for me was the second dish of baerii caviar, pistachio, and beer. The flavor profile reminded me of the Oysters & Pearls dish from the French Laundry but this dish was very simple but exquisite. My second choice would be the turbot and shallot. I don't recall having turbot in past meals which I thoroughly enjoyed (what's in that foam!). 

The wait staff were quick to take away dishes and flatware like ninjas. It wasn't abrasive nor stiff. Actually, the choice of music playing in the background really made the restaurant lively. When I arrived early, I was escorted to the basement bar to have a cocktail but I opted for a beer. Again, the staff was talkative when I had questions and there wasn't a sense of pretentiousness which I hate about U.S. restaurants. 

Overall, this nondescript restaurant in Tribeca exceeded my expectations. I liked the fact that at the end of the meal I was given a copy of the menu plus a book of recipes from the staff. I look forward to the next volume of recipes.

77 Worth St, New York, NY 10013


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