An attorney writes about stuff she'd rather be doing: cooking, eating, wining, dining and traveling.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Verdict: Graham Elliot

Mr. Foodie and I went to Graham Elliot this past weekend for dinner. No special occasion, mostly lamenting the fact that all of our good friends are moving away and we are effing losers. So hell, we're not dropping Hamiltons at the bar with the crew on a Saturday night, might as well drop a couple Benjis on dinner, right?

Graham Elliot's schtick is comfort food, deconstructed, made really fancy and super expensive. My kind of place. We were early for our reservation, so we had a cocktail at the bar. Mr. Foodie had a beer that I cannot pronounce or spell, I had a delicious variation on a Pimm's Cup called the London Calling.

Instead of bread, GE serves POPCORN! Holy shit, I was in heaven. That day's flavor was sour cream and chive. It was fresh, oil-popped deliciousness with fresh chives. As Alanis Morissette once sang, "you've already won me overrrrrrrrrrr."

We started with Chef Elliot's "foielipops," initially made famous at the now-shuttered Avenues. It is a perfect little circle of foie gras on a stick and coated with strawberry Pop Rocks. It is fantastic!

For our first course, I had the aged cheddar risotto with julienned Granny Smith apples, pancetta, PBR-glazed onions and...CHEEZ-ITS! It's like they knew I was coming. I am ashamed of myself for spending $13 on an appetizer containing Cheez-Its, but it was delicious.

Mr. Foodie had the buffalo chicken, which was essentially the most expensive, hard to eat chicken wing he'd ever had. But again, it was fantastic. The small piece of chicken was accompanied by a fabulous house-made hot sauce, creamy blue cheese, and a celeriac slaw. Oh yeah, and Budweiser foam.

For the main course, I had the salmon "BLT." It was a perfectly grilled piece of salmon atop a huge pile of heirloom tomatoes (yummmmmmmm) and frisee. The whole thing rested on a small piece of white bread "brioche" and was doused in a tasty bacon vinaigrette.

Mr. Foodie had the short rib strognanoff. I thought it was only OK, but he's never met a stroganoff he didn't like. I think the version at Red Rooster is far superior. The short ribs were yummy though.

Then there was dessert. I am not a huge dessert fan, but it was heavenly. The peanut butter cream sandwiched between two slices of warm, dark chocolate brownie topped with a bruleed banana and crushed malted milk balls was awesome. I didn't care for the peanut butter ice cream that came on the side, but I don't like peanut butter in ice cream in general, so that's just me.

All in all, a fantastic, unique dining experience. I would highly recommend it. I don't think we'd go back, but only because it was expensive ($215 for all of the above, plus wine, tax, tip) and we have a really long list of places we still have yet to try. I don't think we've ever spent $150+ in the same place more than once.

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