12/17/14 10:04pm

Juni’s Veal and Sweetbreads is an Early Winter Pastoral

JUNIVEAL

Juni’s veal and sweetbreads with quinoa and forest mushrooms.

Ever since I first tasted sweetbreads I’ve been a big fan. Whenever I see the veal thymus—aka sweetbreads—on a menu I order it. Rarely do I ever eat it with actual veal though. So I was glad to have dined at Juni last week where Shaun Hergatt has a veal and sweetbreads dish as part of his tasting menu.

Hergatt, who grew up on a cattle farm in Australia, counts himself a sweetbreads fan. Like the rest of Juni’s menu the veal and sweetbreads dish changes with the seasons. Currently, it’s in the winter incarnation. That means quinoa and several types of mushrooms.Three rosy medallions of Vermont veal tenderloin are arrayed on one quadrant of the plate. Wood ear mushrooms, quinoa topped with fried matsutakes, and a morsel of sweetbreads occupy the other hemisphere. The whole affair is tied together by a sumptuous sauce of all the shrooms and truffle juice along with garnishes of mustard and arugula blossoms. The decadence of the entire dish felt sort of balanced out by the presence of the Ecuadorean superfood quinoa. That moment of virtue did little to prevent me from wishing for an entire basket of Hergatt’s sweetbreads, crunchy on the outside and creamy within.

Juni, 12 East 31st St., 212-995-8599

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