Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Gander

A new restaurant by Chef Jesse Schenker's has arrived in Flatiron, 
and we're oh so happy she's here. 
Can't wait to try the food.

Start with Charcutery - Lamb Pastrami with kraut and grain mustard (top left), Lobster Roll (top right), Prosciutto with pickles (bottom left), crispy Tête de Cochon (bottom right), and liver mousse (center). Probably the most interesting combination of textures was the lamb pastrami, the kraut was a burst of sour and added a great contrast to the pastrami. lobster roll was not so much of an actual roll but was pieces of lobster on brioche, covered with aioli and shallot. It didn't have the typical mayo-type mixings, just good lobster. Prosciutto was great, nothing unusual here. Crispy tête de cochon was actually soft and meaty on the inside and didn't taste fried at all, very good. Center is the creamy and light chicken liver mousse. Great charcutery board, many flavors and textures is definitely a good way to get the meal starter. 

Wasn't really sure what to expect from Brisket “Tots”. Delicious they were. This was exactly what is sound like, brisket made in the style of tots. Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, what's not to love. These go very fast.

Another standout was Sea Trout Tartare prepared in the style of beef tartar. Mix everything up and enjoy the fresh fish and all the fixings. The crispy shell wasn't really interesting though, better eat this with a fork or with a delicious roll instead.

Highly recommended pasta dish was the Caserecci with suckling pig ragu, pecorino, and crushed red pepper. Even though it was nicely prepared, really was hoping for something more flavorful. Al-dente pasta was nice and the ragu was tasty but something about this dish didn't really impress. In addition, the crumbs on top were very hard so that wasn't as much fun to eat. This was probably the weakest plate at dinner, but that's also perhaps because the expectations for it were high.

A yummy winner is definitely the Duck Breast with fig, almonds and butter leeks. Meat so soft, tender and juicy, cooked to perfection. Everything really worked here. Favorite of the night for sure. Yes to this.

Halibut with morels, peas, artichoke and caviar was another must-order dish. Apparently the fish dishes in the restaurant are great in general but this one appealed the most because of the combination of ingredients. Soft white fish lightly fried to golden perfection and the creamy sauce and accompaniments mixed just right.

Onward, to dessert! Chocolate of course. Ah, the Chocolate Mousee! Airy mousse was nicely complimented by tasty ice cream and prune jam. Rich and yet light, a solid dessert choice.

Per the servers recommendation the Crème Brûlée Semifreddo was ordered. Sure doesn't look like a crème brûlée. This was more of a custard-type ice cream dome with walnut and milk chocolate. A surprising bacon flavor comes out in the crumbles. This was good but the chocolate was still the better choice.

The food was delicious, without a doubt. Everything had a unique flavor and inventive combination of ingredients. Very playful and tasty dinner indeed. The Gander is currently the new favorite. Can't wait to go back soon.

The Gander
15 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 229-9500