239 E 5th St
New York, NY 10003
b/t Cooper Sq & 2nd Ave East Village
May 11, 2015
Roasted Cabbage - Boquerones, Eggplant, Pecorino
Instead of ordering their infamous brussel sprouts, I chose this cabbage appetizer, and it turned out to be a surprise. It deftly drew on the layered flavor of cheese’s mellowness and vegetable’s mildness. This cabbage salad has likely outlived most other cabbages in my life.
Crisp Octopus - Red Curry, Charred Cucumber, Shiso
Bit into the crispy skin of the octopus, the inside was as tender as a lullaby. The presence of red curry and shio showed Degustation’s provocative style of using ingredients.
Foie Gras - Cauliflower Ice Cream, Toasted Almond, Nasturtium
As always, foie gras is a “primal satisfaction”, but what upstaged it was the cauliflower ice cream. It was savory, sweet, and complex by itself, and when being consumed together with something extremely rich like foie gras, it tended to hold a clean flavor profile. The comparison endowed this dish with a witty personality. I felt ritzy eating it.
“Boar-B-Q” - Wild Boar Ribs, “Barbecued” Romesco
BBQ boar rib was “fat”bulous but fell ordinary in terms of seasoning.
Paella - Hawaiian Blue Prawn, Chorizo, Guindilla Pepper
Size-wise, this paella was just a plateful. Two kinds of prawns were charred separately with faultless timing. But the seasoning was a tad salty.
Torrija – Cajeta and Sea Salt
And the move of all moves – my very first torrija in life…. This spanish dessert was crispy outside with thickened syrup crafted on top, and particularly gooey inside. For people who like either french toast or creme brulee but have never tried torrija, I can only say they are seriously missing out…
I enjoyed how the restaurant is just one counter, so you would be able to watch all the attention being put into the food preparation. Nicholas Licata is a badass chef who I think still has many tricks up his sleeve. I would love to dig more of his creation in the future.