French: Degustation

Cooking / Eating In

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If there’s anything I appreciate when it comes to food (and there are many things I appreciate when it comes to food), it’s the well-thought out tasting menu.  A while back, I had an opportunity to partake in the tasting menu at Degustation, and I wasn’t disappointed.

For the uninitiated, Degustation borrows influences from Iberian, French, and American cuisine to create a delicate, nuanced, and altogether satisfying menu.  The intimate dining room (the restaurant must have had no more than 25 seats) offers an unobstructed view of the open kitchen. I love open kitchen setups in restaurants and given the option, will always pick a seat with a view of it.  So Degustation worked out perfectly for that, as you can see here:

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But enough about that, on to what you really want to hear about – the food!

We first started with the Kusshi Oyster, topped with Mignonette Froth:Degustation-1

For the second course, we were presented with Calaspara Rice Chicharrones and Aerated Labne – I love labne, and it was a pleasant surprise to see it in foam form:

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The courses began to progress to heavier fare – with the Hawaiian Hearts of Palm with Garlic Crumb, Walnut, Cured Fennel, and Yuzu.  The hearty yet refreshing composition of this dish provided a great transition to the “entree” selections of the tasting menu.

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But first – Artichoke Heart Veloute with Crisp Octopus, Crosnes, and Nasturtium – yum!

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Next came one of my favorite courses of the evening – Soft Poached Hen Egg with Pork Belly, Smoked Maple, and Sunflower.  Soft poached egg + pork belly = what’s not to like?

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The next course, Arborio Risotto with Day Boat Sea Scallop and Riesling Froth, with also luxuriously decadent:

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My eating buddy has a scallop allergy, so the chef swapped in prawns for the scallops – also yummy! (first photo)

The final “entree” course was the “Painted Hills Farm” Short Rib with Beluga Lentils, Parsnip Confit, Gremolata, Pine Nut, Espelette – and shaved truffle, yum!

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Moving next to the cheese course, we were served Garrotxa cheese with churned Seashore Honey, Burnt Honeycomb, and Sorrel. I absolutely love honeycomb, and this one was delicious.

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Moving on to the sweet courses, our first dessert course was  “Sangria” – Red Wine Gelee, Winter Citrus, and Mint Tips:

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For our second dessert course – the Caramelized Torrija – “Hot” Chocolate, Mignardise:

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And finally, a few light bites to finish off this decadent meal – aerated chocolate!

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Degustation offers a delicious and (relatively) reasonably priced tasting menu in the heart of the East Village.  The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and attentive.  If you’re looking for a special occasion meal that isn’t super stuffy, give Degustation a try!

Degustation
239 East 5th St. (between 2nd/3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
212.979.1012

A delicious tasting menu in an open kitchen atmosphere.

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