Well, she hasn’t really been gone. But considering that since the beginning of this year, I’d had foie gras just seven times – a rather paltry number by Foie Gras Queen standards — you might say I was on a semi-hiatus.
In fear of losing my queenly status, I needed to do something about it toute de suite. An excellent opportunity presented itself earlier this month when we celebrated our 47th anniversary. During our week-long stay in NYC, I had foie gras in some way, shape, or form six out of the seven days. Thus, in one week, I was just one foie gras short of the number I’d had in the previous five months.*
Monday: My week of foie gras started on our anniversary at Daniel. Quite the production number, the foie gras was flambéed and plated tableside.
Tuesday: As I detailed in this previous post, we were at EMP. The tasting menu-only format always includes foie gras. Diners are given the choice between foie gras cold or hot. Since we’d had the spring menu’s cold version during a prior visit, we both chose the hot.
Wednesday: Dinner was at NoMad. Though there is a foie gras torchon dish on the appetizer list, Michael and I decided to have the new Charcuterie Board for two. Lucky for me that among its various items was a jar filled with – Yes! — a torchon of foie gras.
Charcuterie: “The Butcher’s Block”
Now, here’s the thing. When I made the reservation via OpenTable, I didn’t mention our anniversary. However, since NoMad is the sister restaurant of EMP (both under the Made Nice company umbrella), turned out that little EMP birdies told the staff at NoMad about it. So, NoMad’s executive chef James Kent, who was previously the chef de cuisine at EMP, hatched a surprise. Along with the charcuterie, he sent out a seared foie gras dish he created especially for us! We were totally floored and extremely appreciative of this gesture.
Thursday: We did the tasting menu at Betony. Before opening Betony a little over two years ago, Chef Bryce Shuman was the executive sous chef at EMP. Like the tasting menus there, Bryce’s tasting menus always include foie gras. In this one, that would be twice.
Friday: The Modern Dining Room was the setting for lunch where another EMP alum, Chef Abram Bissell is in charge of the kitchen. His menu there always includes both hot and cold foie preparations. Though I like torchons and terrines, I do favor seared or roasted foie gras, so that’s what I chose.
Saturday: We had dinner with Jen and Louis at The Simone. While the regular menu did not include a foie gras dish, happily for me, it was one of the specials.
Thinking about this variety of foie gras dishes, I realized something interesting. While hot foie gras is traditionally accompanied by something sweet, fruit being a favorite choice – as at Daniel and The Simone – you might have noted that in several instances, the accompaniments were savory in nature, for example, the rhubarb at both NoMad and The Modern. In those cases, there was enough of a hint of sweetness added to make the dish work very well.
Which was my favorite? Honestly, I’m hard-pressed to choose. Each and every one was seriously delicious. All in all, a terrific comeback for the Foie Gras Queen!
*P.S. I actually ended up equaling the previous five months’ total with another foie gras dish at the end of the month. However, rather than include it here, I’ll discuss it in an upcoming post about the brand new restaurant where I had it. Have I piqued your interest? If so, stay tuned!