Monday, December 30, 2013


Lincoln, NYC, 11/22/13 & 11/25/13

Lincoln is a new entry in 2014’s Michelin one-star list, located in Lincoln Center cross the street from Avery Fisher Hall. It is a joint venture by Jonathan Benno, the ex-chef of Per Se, and Patina Restaurant Group. It’s design is contemporary and classy featuring glass walls, signature sloping lawn roof and a spectacular view of the reflecting pool and the Henry Moore sculpture. The restaurant rotates the theme of Italian regional cooking. For the week of 11/22, it focused on Piemonte region’s cuisines. It also had white truffles available for extra supplement. I decided to try out its lunch first before I had tasting menu for dinner. On 11/22, I had lunch there.

On 11/22, I had lunch there. I had a 2-course lunch:

It started with Amuse Bouche. There were four pieces of fried stuffed green olives with pork sausage. They were delicious, when I bit into the olive I was surprised that the warm juice from pork sausage flowed out.
1) Appeizer -" Insalata Ai Frutte Di Mare – Grilled squid and octopus, whelks purgatorio beans, borlotti beans, fennel, red onion and lemon." Squid and octopus were grilled to the proper texture, tender and not chewy. Whelks, a type of clam from France, were meaty and fresh. Grilled food usually had a taste of charcoal flavor, slight bitter on your taste bud. The sauce served was too weak that the bitter taste of charcoal overwhelming the taste from the sauce. I almost requested for some balsamic vinegar and lemon to enhance the flavor. But, I didn’t because I was in a hurry to go to a dental appointment.
2) Main Course- "Quaglia E Pancia Di Maiale Alla Griglia – Grilled quail and Berkshire pork belly, Farro, pickled red onions, aceto balsamico." Quail was grilled to the proper tenderness and pork belly was tasty. However, I was disappointed that skin was not attached with the pork belly. If the skin had been there, it would have tasted better.

On 11/25, I had a tasting menu dinner there. It was a 5-course meal featuring apple-finished Dorset lamb.

It started with Amuse Bush:
1) Cristini with wild mushroom and goat cheese mixture, topped with Pecorino Romano cheese. It was a not too complicated Amuse Bush, but it was tasty.
2) Autumn squash and pumpkin soup with crumbled Amareti cookies on top. Soup seemed to be short of a little bit of something. It was also not a very complicated Amuse Bush.

1st Course – “Carpaccio, Hazelnuts, Pickled Sunchokes, Cardoons, Bagna Vert." Lamb was 80% raw, thinly sliced and served with pickled sunchokes and cardoons on a bed of green sauce. The pickled sunchokes and cardoons were both very tasty. Sunchokes had a slight crunchy texture almost like daikon and cardoon was almost like the stem of bah choy. The green sauce was made of variety of herbs and tomato although you don’t see any red color in the sauce. The combination was excellent that the tender slice of lamb dipped in green sauce and pickled vegetables. Out of the three savory dishes, this was my favorite.
2nd Course – “Agnolotti Del Plin."  Pasta with lamb filled inside and served with lamb sauce. Since the lamb used by the restaurant was young lamb, the gamy flavor of lamb was not strong. It was an ideal dish to have white truffle as a supplement. The manager brought a tray with glass dome, two chunks of white truffles sitting inside the dome. When the cover was lifted, the fragrance was so overwhelming. I was informed by the manager these two chunks of white truffles would cost $1000 if we were interested in. He shaved approximately 4 slices into my friend’s plate for a supplement of $32/plate.

3rd Course – “Arrosto Misto – Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, pancetta." This plate was comprised of various parts of lamb, each part was prepared in a different way. There was a piece of broiled loin of lamb, a piece of shoulder coated with bread crumb and seared crispy on both sides, a piece of thinly sliced leg of lamb, a piece of lamb sausage and Brussels sprout stir fried with lamb pancetta. Each of the varieties was good, although my loin chop was overcooked. I got a replacement piece with the right medium-rare. The lamb pancetta was really tasty and not gamy taste. I was informed the lamb used for the dishes was a young lamb. I know for sure from the texture it was not a 5-month old lamb which I had twice when I had fine dining in Paris in September 2013.
Palate Cleanser – “Sorbette di Pomegranate”. It has good flavor of pomegranate. Some fine dining restaurants do not count palate cleanser as a course. But, here in Lincoln it did.
Desert – “Tortino Di Cioccolato." Mast brothers dark chocolate ganache. Hazelnut praline and gelato. There was a layer of chocolate ganache on the top and chocolate cake at the bottom. It was neither light nor heavy type. Chocolate did have dark chocolate taste. Hazelnut praline was a soft type of texture similar to mousse and gelato was as typical Italian style of gelato. This course of desert was good in terms of quality if it can be followed by some petite four. But, Lincoln did not provide petite four, only some candies. I somehow felt something was not quite complete with the meal.

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