A wild and wonderful gastronomic ride at Charlie Bird

razor clam recipeWhat an amazing experience to dine at Charlie Bird in Manhattan, one of the top wine destinations in America today!

Those are raw razor clams, fennel, and pickled chiles and live bay scallops with pistachio and Sicilian lemon.

Even when it came to the crudo, arguably the most “simple” dish we had that chilly night in New York last week, the restaurant’s unique gastronomic ethos emerged. I loved the way the gentle crunchiness of the pistachios worked against the supple nature of scallops. Brilliant dish…

best octopus recipe new yorkAfter the “laundry centrifuge” octopus monger from Brooklyn became popular in the 1990s, many Manhattan restaurants took to serving overly tenderized cephalopods.

I was impressed by the balanced texture of this dish. The arms were just chewy enough that the flavor was rich as you bit down on the arm. This was no wimpy octopus and it was delicious.

lamb belly recipe new yorkNormally I don’t like the extreme fattiness and unctuousness of dishes like lamb belly.

But in this interpretation — and honestly, I’m not sure how Charlie Bird achieved this — the meat and fat had a wonderful lightness that didn’t overwhelm my palate with greasiness. Again, the restaurant delivered brilliance in a dish that so many chefs overthink and overcook. I liked this a lot (and it was a fantastic pairing for the insanely good red wine we had on our table).

perigord truffles recipe pastaPérigord truffles over pasta… yes, o yes. No apologies for French-sourced tubers shaved over an Italian mainstay.

Charlie Bird’s menu is confident without arrogance; it is self-aware without cockiness. That may sound like a weird thing to say about a gourmet experience. But how many dishes are served in Manhattan every night with a side of affectation? Too many to count…

braised beef ragu tagliatellePappardelle with braised rabbit (although I would have called these tagliatelle but I’m not one for splitting long noodles).

The pasta was nicely cooked al dente, the braised rabbit not overly salty or fatty.

Can you tell that I loved this restaurant?

Paolo, I had a great week in New York with you and I can’t think of a better way to end our trip.

Thank you, friend. Honestly, that was a meal that I will never forget.

Charlie Bird
5 King Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 235-7133
Google map

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