But that didn't happen. Instead I am in the city of New York spending Christmas with my travel mate JN. A few weeks ago, back in Sydney, we were trying to work out where we would be having our Christmas lunch and JN discovered Tocqueville through the US Time Out website.
So here we are sitting down for lunch over a 3 course fixed price menu of USD95, not including drinks.
For drinks we had the Pear Bellini and JN also had the Eggnog Cocktail though it didn't go down well with her taste wise.
Before we were served with our dishes, we were presented with an amuse-bouche. They were Caponata cakes and utterly delicious. After some googling, I worked out what we had. They were made of eggplant, olives and onions seasoned with herbs.
We started with entrees (or Appetisers as the Yankees call it).
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with black truffle royale. When they served the dish, there was a small circle of food sitting in a large soup bowl with no soup in it. JN looked horrified and was suddenly thinking "is this all I am getting?". Within ten seconds, someone came around to slowly pour the soup into the bowl in a slightly theatrical manner. You should have seen the look of relief on JN's face! I was laughing my head off. I wish I was quick enough to take a picture of her face!
Verdict: Super smooth, creamy and thick soup. The black truffle royale was superb!
House Cured Terrine of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, greenmarket quince and toasted brioche. The terrine was so smooth and packed full of flavour. It was deliciously creamy.
For mains (or Entrees as the Yankees call it), I had the Moroccan Spiced Braised Lamb Shank, with crushed potatoes, olives and fine herbs. The lamb was literally falling off the bone as I cut into it. I enjoyed the rich, earthy flavours from the Moroccan seasoning. The serving was quite large and I did struggle to finish off the plate. But I found it to be quite delicious.
Applewood Smoked Slow Roasted Rack of Berkshire Pork, with farofa da bebe, gala apples, baby carrots and bourbon reduction. This was JN's dish and she did struggle to finish it as it was a rather large piece of pock rack. She did mention she found the pork a little dry but she enjoyed the baby carrots and apples which went well with the pork.
Then came desserts. We decided to stick to the Christmas theme.
Christmas Sundae which consisted of Eggnog ice cream, Chocolate mousse ice cream, Walnut ice cream, hot fudge and caramel sauce. It looked decadent and JN enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the walnut ice cream.
Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Buche De Noel with cherry chocolate sauce. I was surprised at how light the dessert was. The chocolate cake was not overly rich and went perfectly with the cherries. Yum!
As we were having our tea and coffee, out came a small tray of petit fours consisting of chocolate cakes with mint frosting and gingerbread cookies.
We also spent quite a bit of time people watching in the restaurants. Fascinating to see the variety of people having Christmas lunch out of the comfort of home cooking.
It was a lovely afternoon and I am glad to have JN join me in this Christmas adventure in the Big Apple! By the way, the service was superb. I couldn't fault it at all!
1 East 15th Street