“What does the determined restaurateur do when he wants to give a well-known, long-lived property a new identity? Change the name, radically reinvent the décor, and hire a buzzy new chef. Drew Nieporent has done all of the above to Montrachet, the restaurant he opened in 1985, when Tribeca was a backwater and opening chef David Bouley was unknown. Corton, like Montrachet, refers to a Côte de Beaune grand cru, and its wine list retains its predecessor’s Burgundian focus. The food will still be modern French, too, as interpreted by Paul Liebrandt, a chef who garnered a cult following (and a sometimes culinarily controversial rep) at Atlas and Gilt. His $76 three-course prix fixe offers dishes like crispy amadai with garlic, Serrano ham, and young coconut juice, and desserts by Robert Truitt, late of Room 4 Dessert and El Bulli. At once intimate and modern, the new design incorporates a narrow window providing a glimpse of the action in the reinvigorated kitchen.” — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
We were lucky to go to Corton with Cathy, Drew Nieporent’s assistant. Drew is not missing in action at Corton; he is there every night, being the consummate host.
Elizabeth Harcourt did an excellent job as sommelier
I must say my notes are fair at best and sometime has passed since this meal. I hope I don’t do a complete injustice to this meal.
Gougeres and Green Olive Sponge
Salted Cod Soup with Beausoleil Oyster and Broccoli Cream – excellent and well-balanced
Kampachi, Foie Gras Chantilly, Cucumber Melon, Miso, Toasted brioche, red ribbon sorrel, balsamic – perfectly cooked fish with well-balanced flavors
Amadai, Black Garlic, Serrano Ham, Citrus-Coconut Broth – this was actually two dishes in one. The fish dish had a beautiful clove of black garlic on the rim of the plate – “Black garlic is tender like roast garlic with undertones of malt and molasses, and an overall sweet garlicky flavor and none of the acrid bite of raw garlic.” (from Ideas in Food) Also on the plate was a citrus, coconut jus parsley puree and lime leaf for an aromatic component.
In a side dish was light as air potato gnocchi, baby bok choy and Serrano ham
Elysian Fields Lamb Loin, Braised Neck, Ras el Hanout, Chocolate Mint Jus, Lamb belly rillete – The lamb was cooked perfectly and was accompanied by date with lemon confit, baby eggplant, minced eggplant and a chocolate mint jus (Chocolate mint refers to an herb, specifically a hybrid mint plant, that tastes and especially smells like a combination of mint and chocolate.)
The side dish of lamb rilette sat on a bed of spiced yogurt.
“Cheese and Crackers” – Selles-Sur-Cher (goat cheese), Sour Cherry Pate de fruit, Chickpea Cracker, Celery root puree, Vanilla bourbon reduction
White Sesame Crème, Lemon, Huckleberry, Salted Toffee
Gianduja Palette, Yuzu, Coconut
Generally I felt ther dessert part of the menu was the weakest portion of the meal. There just didn’t seem to be the same finesse or layering of flavor. It was almost as if there was a disconnect between the savory and sweet portion of the menu.
Service was exceptional. This was an excellent meal and I only hope that the economy doesn’t tank too much further and that diners are willing to support Corton.