#54 Adour Alain Ducasse
“Porc en beaux morceaux” $38
Experimentation isn’t the name of the game at Alain Ducasse’s recently closed restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel. The pork was a concise selection of choice meats: two pieces of dry, overcooked, pan-roasted loin and a thick chunk of chewy (not gooey, mind you) pork belly. Next to this was a small slice of rich boudin noir and a lightly charred winter pear. For added flourish, my server slowly poured a delicate sauce over the dish. This was served with a small pot of pureed butternut squash with parmesan and shredded prosciutto.
This was probably one of the most unusual and impressive desserts I’ve enjoyed so far. Imagine a chestnut and pear ice cream sandwich but even more delicious than it sounds. The “vermicelli” was actually chilled chestnut paste, similar to ice cream but totally decadent and pure. The filling was light, sweet Chantilly cream and delicate segments of sweet poached pear. All placed on a crunchy vanilla meringue base. Exquisite.
Adour closed in mid-November, leaving the formal dining space at the St. Regis hotel temporarily empty. Does this leave a hole in the fabric of New York’s dining tapestry? I’m not so sure. The food at Adour was clearly excellent when the restaurant first opened but, when I went, it seemed to be in a slow decline. Interesting legacy items on the menu (the Mont-Blanc was particularly impressive) but seemingly slopping implementation. The bread, for instance, was hard and dry – always a bad sign.
This being said, I’m looking forward to trying chef Alain Ducasse’s next venture. I’m sure it will be impressive.
2 E. 55th St.