“This is either going to absolutely great or a friggin train wreck,” my buddy declared while perusing the menu at Crescent Grill. The confit frog leg ($12) with an oddball combination of cheffy ingredients and techniques including braised Vidalia onion and balsamic gelee the is the type of dish some food writers call critic bait.
“This is the prettiest train wreck I’ve ever seen,” I thought when I saw the cup of bibb lettuce cradling frog leg confit ringed by Vidalia onion. It tasted even better, like late spring by the fishing hole,with the frog taking nicely to the confit balanced by the sweetness of the onions and the sweetly acidic pop of the balsamic gelee.
The second surprise of the evening at the newish and decidedly grownup Crescent Grill was the diver scallops ($32). Morels, pickled ramps, and fava beans are all natural complements to sweet juicy scallops. The addition of coconut curry though made it sound like the chef wasn’t sure whether he was in the Mediterranean or Malaysia. Like that frog leg confit the dish worked. The seared scallops sat in a lake of green curry, forming a meaty barrier between the dish’s more European components. Seafood laksa meets soigné all within view of Manhattan. Who’d a thunk it?