I’ve interviewed Varietal’s pastry chef, Jordan Kahn, twice now, but I hadn’t actually eaten in the restaurant until last night. I ate with luminary publicist Irene Holiastos.
(Okay, maybe she’s not a luminary, but neither am I, and that didn’t keep some nice bloggers from referring to me as one.)
At the end of the meal, management chatted with her about the restaurant’s first full-fledged review, which will be coming out in this week’s Time Out New York. Their fingers are crossed.
Other reviews are destined to follow; apparently three big critics were all in the restaurant on the same night recently, no-doubt trying to be anonymous. That’s so cute of them.
During dinner, Irene came up with suggestions of things for me to do when my nieces and nephew visit this April. I doubt I’ll be doing much with Alia, since she was just born in July, but I’m working on a day of fun with the other two young’uns, aged 7 and 11.
Irene said we for sure had to go to the Empire State Building and agreed with me that Dylan’s Candy Bar and/or Serendipity were in order. She also suggested a trip to FAO Schwartz, and a tram ride to Roosevelt Island.
I'm open to other suggestions (Tahirah and Harrison, if you’re reading this, that means you).
What I ate and drank:
A little spoon of pork loin with walnut, apple and dried sage
Fennel pollen-seared Nantucket Bay scallops with frozen white grapefruit tuile, microfennel, American lumpfish caviar and crème fraîche
Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition
Dizy, Vallée de la Marne, N.V.
Prosciutto-wrapped quial stuffed with grits, baby arugula and black truffle salad
2004 Côtes de Reigny Sancerre
Pork belly braised in apple cider, tobaco, cedar and pork stock, and pan-roasted pork loin over braised collard greens and celery root purée
2004 Tenuto Roca Dolcetto d’Alba
Chocolate gel with encapsulated pear purée, green pear sorbet, Poire William rock candy, mastic foam, dehydrated chocolate mousse, maitake mushroom toffee and crystalized shiitakes
The wines all were selected by server Adam Schuman, who also recommended a wine that would “change your life”:
2003 Nicolas Joly Coulé de Serrant, Savennières
He didn’t pour me any, presumably because Varietal sells it for $160. I have no gripes about that.