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:
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:
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:
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.
But first – Artichoke Heart Veloute with Crisp Octopus, Crosnes, and Nasturtium – yum!
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?
The next course, Arborio Risotto with Day Boat Sea Scallop and Riesling Froth, with also luxuriously decadent:
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!
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.
Moving on to the sweet courses, our first dessert course was “Sangria” – Red Wine Gelee, Winter Citrus, and Mint Tips:
For our second dessert course – the Caramelized Torrija – “Hot” Chocolate, Mignardise:
And finally, a few light bites to finish off this decadent meal – aerated chocolate!
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
A delicious tasting menu in an open kitchen atmosphere.