The tyranny of the tasting menu—that feeling of being held hostage by a chef’s creativity as course after course after course comes to the table—is a phenomenon with which I have scant experience. The only tasting menu of note I’ve had is Momofuko Ko’s and while not quite tyrannical, it was vast, running to more than a dozen courses, each quite good in its own way. Even so sensory overload sets in by course eight or nine. It’s not that I was full, but rather that I was punch drunk on the experience, much the way I feel after wandering around an art museum for too long. So when Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky of Bear invited me to try to her $85 seasonal tasting menu, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. (more…)
Why opt for one type of smoked fish on your bagel when you can have three.
I didn’t grow up with the Jewish appetizer platter in my household. Every now and then though the old man would get some sable or lox, and I developed a taste for smoked fish. Occasionally I will get a sable and cream cheese sandwich at one of the local bagelries in my neighborhood. When I’m feeling especially decadent I’ll head to Russ & Daughters on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The 99-year-old temple of appetizing makes a little forshpayz they call the meshugge ($20.75). It consists of a trifecta of smoked fish—sturgeon, sable, and salmon on a bagel or bialy—with cream cheese. This decadent bagel sandwich is worth every penny. Call me crazy, but I’ve a feeling I’ll be visiting R&D some time in the very near future.