Definitions Dining Out Reviews

Dining at Morimoto in New York City

I was in New York City for a week at the beginning of December (last month), and made sure to have dinner reservations set up ahead of time for just about every night. One of the reservations I snagged was for the Omakase Bar at Morimoto, named after Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

At the back of the restaurant is a sushi bar where people walking in might be lucky enough to find seating (the restaurant is usually otherwise fully booked a few days in advance). However, you can also reserve seats at the bar for a chef’s “omakase” – basically the Japanese version of a chef’s tasting menu. I made that booking for two, and then scrambled to find a dinner companion as Linda and the kids were still back home on Bonaire.

I was happy to learn that my friend David Gelles was in town and free, and so come December 9th, after a drink at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain in midtown, we made our way to Morimoto in the warehouse district of New York City for our 7pm reservation.

That's me at left and David Gelles at right, with our chef for the night in back (and I feel terrible because I forgot his name)

We spent the next five hours enjoying a dozen courses, each specially made for us, and we even order seconds of one dish.

This was by far our favorite dish - raw oyster with foie gras, uni, a sweet sauce, and black truffles. We liked it so much we ordered seconds.

Along with the meal we consumed a couple of bottles of sake, and some nice desert wine after that. Details blur, but thanks to my trusty Canon S90 point and shoot camera (the best small camera I have found so far for natural light photography in restaurants), I have a visual record of the entire feast.

Toro tartare with ossetra caviar

The full set of 36 photos from our gastronomical engagement can be found here on Flickr.

Molecular Gastronomy Science

Sneak Peak: Hazelnut Caviar and Pearls

This morning’s kitchen science experiment was making hazelnut caviar. More specifically, caviar using hazelnut syrup (sugar free, of course). It involves using sodium alginate and calcium chloride, but I will save the details for later.

For now, let me tease you with a photo:

Hazelnut caviar and pearls
Hazelnut caviar and pearls

Why, you might ask, is the caviar green? The short story is that we weren’t sure the process was working because our hazelnut syrup, water, and sodium alginate mixture was almost the same color as the aqueous calcium chloride bath, so we wanted to add some color to make the process more visible. Green food coloring was the closest food color at hand.

Suffice to say that the above pictured caviar and pearls release a rich sweet hazelnut flavor when you chew them.

More details later next week hopefully.