Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashanah Dinner’

On the Second Night of Rosh Hashanah, Dinner at Mishiguene at Intersect

October 23, 2019

Mishiguene at Intersect

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, we kept with tradition and had dinner with Jen and Louis at Tocqueville. (Photo set on my
Flickr here. Since we were still in the city on the second night, Michael and I had to decide where the two of us should go for dinner. A week or two prior to Rosh Hashanah, one of the members of Mouthfulsfood, the food forum where I’ve been a longtime member, posted a very positive report about Mishiguene at Intersect. A few posts by others who had been there also praised it.

According to the website, the Restaurant at Intersect by Lexus “features a rotating line-up of internationally celebrated Restaurants-in-Residence,” each of which lasts for several months. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group runs the dining room. After the chef-in-residence oversees the premiering of the menu and then returns home, Nikolas Martinez, a USHG chef, is in charge of the kitchen. Although I had heard about Intersect by Lexus, I hadn’t paid attention to it, so I wasn’t aware that Mishiguene was in residence until the report was posted on Mouthfulsfood.

Located in Buenos Aires, Mishiguene is a fine dining restaurant showcasing Chef Tomas Kalika’s take on food of the Jewish diaspora and with an Argentinian bent. This definitely caught my attention. Couldn’t be more perfect for our second Rosh Hashanah dinner!

Since we would be returning to NJ after dinner, we made an early 6:30 p.m. reservation. Upon arrival, we took the elevator to the restaurant’s floor. The large space was attractive with an open kitchen on one side. There were only a few diners when we were seated, but during our meal, the room filled up quite a bit, a good showing for a Monday night.

Mishiguene at Intersect

The menu noted that most items were meant to be shared which was fine with us.

The first things brought to the table were…

Bread Basket

Bread Basket: Pita and Challah

…and a variety of pickled vegetables as well as schmaltz with gribenes.

Pickled Red Radishes & Schmaltz with Gribenes

Pickled Red Radishes & Schmaltz with Gribenes

The Mouthfuls folks mentioned that there were superb pickles. Since we weren’t served them initially, I later asked for some. They were, indeed, excellent.

Pickles

Pickles

For starters, we ordered:

Gefilte Fish

Gefilte Fish

Liver on the Grill

Liver on the Grill

Tongue Sandwich

Tongue Sandwich

For from the mains section of the menu, we chose:

Varenike

Varenike

and

Pastrami Short Ribs

Pastrami Short Ribs

which came with

Truffled Spätzle

Truffled Spätzle

For dessert:

Baklava

Baklava

Everything we had was packed with flavor and incredibly delicious! I will note that while the gefilte fish did not come with the traditional chrain (for the Yiddish impaired, that’s horseradish), the accompaniments that rimmed the plate when combined produced a flavor that mimicked it.  We probably should have ordered two tongue sandwiches because when we split it, each half produced just a bite (it was much smaller than it appears in the photo), and I wanted more. The short ribs came in two sizes: “generous” and “very generous.” We chose the generous. Considering how huge it was, the very generous must be mastodon-size.

We finished all the first courses and the baklava but took home a big piece of the short rib, some of the spaetzle, and most of the vareniki. Made for another mighty fine meal.

The Yiddish word meshugge means crazy. Mishiguene is an odd spelling for the word meshuggeneh which mean a crazy woman. In any case, when it comes to describing how we felt about this meal, that’s easy. We were meshugge about Mishiguene.

The entire set of photos including fuller descriptions can be found on my Flickr here.

Dinner in the Gramercy Tavern Dining Room on Rosh Hashanah Eve

October 18, 2016

Gramercy Tavern Dining Room - Rosh Hashanah Eve Dinner 2016

For the past few years, we’ve been going to Tocqueville with Jen and Louis on Erev Rosh Hashanah for the special Rosh Hashanah menu. This year, the first night fell on Sunday night. Now, Louis is a primo football fan, and that Sunday was going to be a mega-day for football games, starting at 9 a.m. and going into the evening. Since Tocqueville does this special dinner on the first and second nights, they asked if we could go there on Monday evening. No problem! But I had no intention of cooking for the two of us on Sunday, so we needed to pick a restaurant. I especially wanted something comfortable, quiet, and with, of course, good food. As you can see by the title of this post, we chose the Gramercy Tavern Dining Room.

This extremely popular Danny Meyer restaurant is a short walk from our apartment; therefore, you would think it would be on our regular dining rotation. Not so. During the 20 years it’s been open, we’ve gone perhaps only a dozen times. While service has always been what one expects at a Danny Meyer establishment, and the dining room is comfortable with a moderate noise level even when the place is full (which it inevitably is), the food can be uneven. Though we’ve had some excellent meals, there have been times when the food has utterly disappointed me. The latter was the case last December when we opted for what turned out to be a less than enjoyable tasting menu. At least, that’s how I felt because Michael thought it was fine. But then, he’s not as picky as I am. Oh, and there was that time years ago when I had a duck dish that remains seared in my memory for how truly horrible it was. And here’s another problem that keeps us away. When perusing the menu on-line, I often find few, if any, dishes that sound appealing to me. Finally, the desserts by the current pastry chef turn me off as they are (a) usually of the deconstructed variety which I pretty much detest, and (b) they have flavor profiles that I’ve found to be “ugh” (for want of a better descriptive).

With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that I was hesitant about going there for this dinner. However, after checking the menu and seeing a few things that sounded good to me – and hoping for the best — we made a reservation. (Just to note that Michael, as usual, was the “no problem” guy.)

The more casual Tavern Room is at the front of the restaurant while the two “formal” dining rooms are behind it, one next to the other. We were seated fairly promptly at a two-top in a corner of the first of the two dining rooms. This made for a cozy feeling. After checking the menu to make sure the dishes that interested me were still on it – they were! – we ordered, and Michael decided on a glass of Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

Here’s what we had:

Amuse

Amuse: Gazpacho

Corn Muffins and Goat Cheese Spread

Corn Muffins and Goat Cheese Spread

We both chose the same first course.

Smoked Tomato Soup

Smoked Tomato Soup with Lentils, Croutons, and Basil

We also chose the same main course.

Chicken Breat & Sausage

Chicken Breast & Sausage with Corn, Oyster Mushrooms, and Bacon

We parted company for dessert. Michael opted for what is probably his favorite thing to have for dessert, ice cream. After querying our captain, I was thrilled to hear that the dessert I had my eye on was not deconstructed!

Ice Cream

Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Blueberry Buttermilk

Blueberry

“Blueberry”: Lemon Meringue Tart, Pistachios, and Buttermilk Sherbet

My qualms were for naught. In every way, this was a seriously delicious meal. We loved the soup’s smoky tomato flavor. The chicken’s breast meat was exceedingly tender and succulent, so we surmised there must have been some sous vide involved which was confirmed by our captain. The skin on the dark meat was crispy, the meat itself juicy; the sausage was wonderfully flavorful; and the different textures and flavors of the accompaniments rounded out the dish. While it’s no surprise that Michael was happy with his ice cream, I must say I was more than pleased with my dessert.

We were finishing up and ready for the check when our captain and a server came to our table with a surprise – the mini chocolate cake they bring to anyone celebrating a special occasion with “Shana tova” written in chocolate on the plate. How did they know that we were “celebrating” Rosh Hashanah? Well, when we called to confirm out reservation, the person I spoke with asked if we were celebrating a special occasion. I replied that we weren’t celebrating a birthday or anniversary, but this meal would be a Rosh Hashanah dinner.  We very much appreciated this thoughtful gesture.  I goofed in not taking a photo of the cake when it was presented. Since at that point, as I said, we were finished, we had them wrap it, and I took a photo when we got home.

Gramercy Tavern Dining Room - Rosh Hashanah Eve Dinner 2016

Chocolate Layer Cake

They also wrapped some mignardises as well as two granola bars.

Gramercy Tavern Dining Room - Rosh Hashanah Eve Dinner 2016

Chocolates

Gramercy Tavern Dining Room - Rosh Hashanah Eve Dinner 2016

Overall, a lovely Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner.

The entire photo set of this dinner can be viewed on my Flickr here.