Tuesday, October 11, 2016

American Cut, NYC

American Cut, NYC, 9/26/2016 (canapés, cocktail & 4-course dinner, $115.86 including taxes & gratuity)

American Cut, a steakhouse, is a fairly young restaurant within LDV Hospitality, owned by chef Marc Forgione. It has two locations in NYC, one in mid-town and one in Tribeca a few blocks away from his Michelin 1-star restaurant Mark Forgione. This special event was co-sponsored by the Lincoln Motor Company. The menu included four canapés during the cocktail hours with limited choices of but unlimited quantity of drinks, followed by a 4-course dinners with white wine and red wine.

Canapés – 4 items

1). Hiramasa, avocado, miso dashi

Hiramasa (farmed yellowtail) provides a bright, buttery flavor with a rich, firm texture and desirable fat content. Hiramasa tartare with avocado and miso dashi made of seaweed, bonito flake, miso paste, mirin, ginger, onion, white soy sauce and yuzu. It resembles one of the best dishes in Chef Forgione’s Michelin 1-star restaurant “Marc Forgione.”

2). Oyster, black truffle

Oyster was served in béchamel and broiled. It is like Oyster Rockefeller style, except it was tastier than Oyster Rockefeller because of the black truffle flavor. Béchamel, made of roux, shallot, parsley, chives, garlic and crucola cheese, was at the proper consistency and truffle was not too overwhelming either. It was my favorite item in this evening.

3). Postrami bites, fermented kraut, whole grain mustard

Whole grain mustard was spreaded on a small piece of crunchy toast. A piece of pastrami was placed on mustard and topped by sliced fermented sour kraut.

4). Steak tartare, potato chip, eggs mimosa

Each guest had to stand on the line before his/her turn to grind 1 or 2 pieces of beef loin into ground meat. Then, it was up to each guest’s preference to choose the condiments and other ingredients such as olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, Forgione sauce, and chopped chive, chopped onion, chopped parsley and chopped anchovy. There was a bowl of cured chicken egg yolks (mimosa) for mixing in tartare. Once all ingredients were mixed in the bowl, tartare was served in a small bowl and served with a thinly sliced potato chip. The whole process gave each guest a sense of a fully customized dish. Mimosa and anchovy did give the dish an extra kick.

1st Course – Duo of rice 

             a). American Kobe Carpaccio, truffle arancini

Arancini are rice balls which are coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried. In this course, rice were mixed with black truffle, and covered with Kobe carpaccio after the rice balls were fried. In addition, thinly sliced black truffle was place on top of each rice ball. Without of doubt, anything dish with black truffle taste yummy.

b). “Laotian sushi” of local fluke, jalapeno bang bang

Loatian sushi was made of gluttonous rice (sticky rice) which is starchier than the conventional rice. Cooked rice were then shaped into various shape you desired. In this dish, square-shaped rice were fried before serving with sweet-sour sauce. On top of each Loatian sushi, there were some fresh raw fluke and pickled jalapeno chili in Forgione’s own pickled sauce (nicknamed bang bang sauce). Bang bang is made of Thai chili, sugar, lime and fish sauce. This bang bang sauce greatly enhanced the overall taste.

2nd Course – Duo of marrow

a). Forge cut bone marrow, escargot, James Beard salad (fennel and arugula)

At the bottom, there was a piece of toasted bread topped by a piece of bone with a hole in the center. Cooked bone marrow (usually shrink in size) and a piece of escargot were placed in the middle of the hole. The texture of bone marrow and escargot is slightly different, but both had rich and succulent taste.

b). King crab marrow, Long Island corn succotash, maître butter

In this dish, the best part of King crab leg was used. Emulsified non-salted butter was whipped and crab was cooked with ultra-tenderness. Crab was served with fresh Long Island corn succotash. This dish was offered as a slight contrast to the accompanied bone marrow dish.

3rd Course - Surf & Turf

 a). Boneless porterhouse, NYC cut steak

28-day dry aged porterhouse steak was served medium. I requested for black and blue, and was informed by the waiter it was not feasible due to the large number of guests at the special event. In addition to surf and turf, there are 3 side-dishes:

1). Carrot glazed carrot, mint, maldon – Carrots were poached in water, butter, mint and maldon salt. Cooked carrots were then stirred in sauce of orange juice, carrot juice, mint and honey. The end product of glazed carrot is the best cooked carrot that I have ever had.

2). Dry-aged potatoes, bacon, mushroom – Layered potatoes were baked with Parmesan cheese, cream, salt and pepper. When it is cool, cut into brick pieces and seared in dry aged beef fat. It is loaded with calories, but it is also loaded with taste.

3). Sunchoked spinach, fontina, smoked salt – Sautéed spinach mixed in white creamed sauce made of roux, garlic, parsley and fontina cheese. By using smoked salt, it gave extra bump to the taste.

b). Chili lobster

Lobster tails and shelled claws were served in this dish. It almost like lobster bisque with chili. It was peppery hot. The soup was made of sriracha pepper, butter, flour, aromatics (parsley, chive, garlic, onion) and mint. Sriracha is named after a coastal city, Si Racha, in Thailand. It is mainly used in seafood. In the middle of bowl, there were quite a few pieces of toasted garlic bread for dipping the sauce.

4th Course – Orange honey cake, Champagne whipped cream, honeycomb

Orange honey cake had pound cake like texture, but not too sweet. Champagne whipped cream did have the taste of champagne and honeycomb was the right texture of crunchiness.

It was a full house this evening at American Cut. During the cocktail hour, guests gathered around the bar area and it was standing room only. Actually it was strategically better to stand in the middle of room to grab canapés when waiters passing by during the cocktail hour. At dinner time, we were all seated around a long communal table, pretty much elbow to elbow. American Cut probably hosted 150 guests which most likely is more than its normal maximum capacity. As a result of this capacity issue, we had to wait 25-30 minutes in between courses. However, waiters were helpful when we requested for more side-dishes and lobster. It was a great deal and it was an evening of fun and pleasure.

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