Friday, January 26, 2007

Patroon’s new chef

January 26

Patroon in New York City has a new chef, Bill Peet. He has been cooking in restaurants for 35 years, since 1972, and spent 15 of those under the legendary André Soltner at Lutèce. More recently he was a chef and partner at Pair of 8s.
And that's usually all I have space to say about a new chef, except here on my blog, where space obviously is not so precious.
So let's talk about Bill a little bit more.
He actually arrived at Patroon in November and has been working on the menu since then. "It's about 75 percent right now," he said.
New appetizers include a $16 dish of three prawns, with their heads on, cold-smoked over applewood, grilled and served with mâche salad and roasted tomato vinaigrette.
He also has a $14 dish of Manila clams and Prince Edward Island mussels braised with shallots, white wine and linguiça, served with grilled country bread.
His version of a crab cake is a 50/50 mix of jumbo lump crab and diced sea scallops, bound with aïoli and just a bit of bread crumbs. He also coats it with bread crumbs, sautés it and serves it with a green apple and celery rémoulade with hazelnut oil.
That's 16
A new main course is dark beer-braised beef short ribs. He removes the ribs from their bones and then rolls the meat into the form of a filet. He serves that with carrots that he roasts on a bed of rock salt, which intensifies the flavor by draining out some of the liquid, as well as whipped potatoes. At service he sautés the carrots with butter, salt and pepper and tops the dish with baby celery leaves. That's $29.
He also serves a pan-seared New Zealand venison loin which he has marinated, generally overnight, with thyme, cracked black pepper and olive oil. It's served with braised red cabbage and a sweet potato puree that he's been making for years: He roasts the potatoes and scoops out the flesh, and then adds a roasted banana to that and puts that mixture through a food mill. He flavors that with an infused maple syrup that he makes by roasting bananas, an orange and a vanilla bean and storing them in the syrup. That's $32.
Bill says he likes working at Patroon, because "it’s built to be a restaurant.” It has a back stairway, a banquet room, a roof that’s open in the nice weather, “and it’s just laid out correctly. It’s great.”

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