Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

ADNY (Alain Ducasse @ Essex House)


Recommended Posts

Admin: an archive of discussion on ADNY with Didier Elena as chef de cuisine, including the opening of the restaurant and early critical/media response, may be found here. Admin: the archived thread with discussion of ADNY under Christian Delouvrier as chef de cuisine may be found here.

Has anyone eaten here since the new chef took over?

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Maybe its time to start a new thread: has anyone tried the new ADNY menu under the new chef? Who is he? Which Ducasse kitchen did he come from?

Two dishes sound similar to past Louis XV dishes or more "classic" Ducasse:

bass with a variety of shellfish; bluefoot chicken with crayfish, wild mushrooms, and asparagus.

I hope the fall menu will be as interesting...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Steven/Ellen -

surely you must have eaten here since the new chef arrived? Might we be so bold as to enquire...?

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alain Ducasse announced in April that Tony Esnault has been named the new Executive Chef of ADNY. Chef Esnault comes to Alain Ducasse at the Essex House from his most recent position as Chef de Cuisine at The Ritz Carlton, Boston. He worked for Alain Ducasse previously, from 1996 to 1999, at the renowned Louis XV Alain Ducasse Restaurant in Monte Carlo.

In collaboration with Alain Ducasse, Chef Esnault demonstrates his culinary philosophy, expertise and interpretation of summer with his debut menu at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House. Chef Esnault’s dishes illustrate his respect for the integrity of quality ingredients in their most natural state through his characteristically light and delicate fare. He juxtaposes contrasting textures and crafts his dishes carefully to accentuate the flavor of each ingredient in a manner that allows for their true character to speak most clearly.

“I have known Tony Esnault for nearly 10 years and have always been highly impressed with his culinary talents and utmost professionalism,” commented M. Ducasse on the new appointment. “We have been looking for the right opportunity to bring him back to the Alain Ducasse family and we feel he is the perfect person to further my vision for New York as Executive Chef.”

Tony Esnault brings a wealth of culinary experience and talent to his new position at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, including having successfully reinvented The Ritz Carlton Boston’s “The Dining Room” since its reopening in 2002. He was also voted Best Hotel Chef of America by the James Beard Foundation in 2004 and garnered four Mobil Stars in 2005 and four AAA Diamonds in 2004, among a host of other accolades.

“I’m thrilled at the chance to work again with Alain Ducasse and am truly honored to be at such a wonderful restaurant,” said the 33-year-old Esnault.

The Summer Menu:

CAVIAR

Iranian osetra caviar by “Caviar Russe”

blinis, toast, fingerling potato, crème fraîche

APPETIZER

Selected garden vegetables, crisp and tender, crushed herbs

Frog legs "meunières", delicate velouté, parsley/watercress coulis

Duck foie gras terrine, white peach medley, toasted brioche

Chilled steamed langoustine, fresh almond milk, cucumber, celery and radish

with golden Iranian osetra caviar

FISH

Wild Alaskan salmon lightly poached, baby leeks, brocoletti, "nage vinaigrette"

Maine Lobster, “haricots verts”, sugar snap and English peas ”en blanquette "

Line-caught bass, razor and Manila clams, peekytoe crabmeat, shellfish emulsion

Dover sole, braised rainbow Swiss chard, capers/lemon condiment

Barramundi, yellow/candy beets, fresh hearts of palm

Turbot cooked slowly, celery raw and fondant, citrus marmalade

MEAT

Squab breast, glazed radish, artichoke pairing, salmis jus

Milk fed veal, oven roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, natural jus

Lamb loin "au sautoir", baby spring vegetables, refreshed with mint

Aged Ribeye of Black Angus, shallots, Boston bibb lettuce, panisses, sabayon

Blue foot chicken, crayfish fricassee, wild mushroom and asparagus

DESSERTS

Passion fruit soufflé, coconut / banana / lime sorbet

Baba, rum of your choice, Monte-Carlo Style

Peach tart, verbena custard, red currant sorbet

Chocolate / raspberries for the contrast lovers

Strawberry / rhubarb "millefeuille", vanilla ice-cream

TASTING MENU

Selected garden vegetables, crisp and tender, crushed herbs

Chilled steamed langoustine, fresh almond milk, cucumber, celery and radish

Seared duck foie gras, rhubarb confit and roasted mango, tangy sauce

Line -caught bass, razor and Manila clams, peekytoe crabmeat, shellfish emulsion

Milk fed veal, oven roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, natural jus

Cheese, perfectly matured

Fine lemon mousse in a crunchy layered, grapefruit sorbet, zest juice

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info and welcome to eGullet!

The menu certainly looks appetizing. Have you tried it?Any particular standouts or signatures?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have experienced the new menu under Chef Esnault. I should explain that as I work with ADNY professionally, my comments may be considered biased.

I urge everyone else to check it out. It's quite different and we've been getting excellent feedback.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have experienced the new menu under Chef Esnault.  I should explain that as I work with ADNY professionally, my comments may be considered biased.

I urge everyone else to check it out.  It's quite different and we've been getting excellent feedback.

We all have our biases. Thanks for the useful and interesting post. Please keep us apprised of developments at this restaurant and others you may know as well as anything else food related.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to post
Share on other sites
Blue foot chicken, crayfish fricassee, wild mushroom and asparagusl

Is it possible that this is poulet de Bresse, or is this a domestic version, kind of like wagyu beef is to Kobe beef. I didn't think this chicken was available in the States.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got the same or a similar press release and, curiously, remember something of what it said. The chickens are from the Central Valley in California and are said to be very well cared for.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to see if the husbandry is similar to the Bresse birds, which are raised relatively 'intensively,' especially in their last few weeks where they're encouraged to gorge on corn and milk. This gives their livers the most fantastic texture, taste and colour, but has a certain European view of animal welfare which I'm not sure would be appreciated in the high-end US market.

Thanks for posting the above menu, although I have to say I find the language somewhat inscrutable. It feels translated to me, rather than composed in English.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow - I'd love to know if any butchers in town are selling the blue-foots. Any indication on the news release whether these are just being shipped to restaurants out here or will home cooks be able to buy them. I love poulet de bresse. Notice that Hearth is featuring the blue-foots on their summer menu. I'll be needing to check that out very soon ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've requested another copy of the press release and can post the details when I get it.

In terms of menu language, it has always been quirky because, yes, it is translated. The Ducasse Group is centralized in this regard: everything goes through Paris. Not only are things translated, but also they are sometimes translated several times, e.g., from English to French and back to English, so that different people can work on them. This process has given rise to what I've called elsewhere "Ducasse-speak."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't eaten this dish but a friend who works in the kitchen is here describing it to me.

The chickens are blue foots from Sonoma distributed by Dartangnan, raised in the Bresse style. They are delivered foot and head on. Ducasse roasts them, with the head off but the feet on. It is served in a Staub cast iron pot whole, feet on. The waiter carves the breast and then the rest of the bird goes back to the kitchen. The thigh is boned out then it is returned to the guest in a small siver dish with morels and finely sliced scallions around which is laid a foam made of pan juice and cream.

Makes me want to drop a wad on dinner at Ducasse.

Incidentally, one of the oddities of the Bresse-style chicken is what it eats: Cow's milk. In the form of pellets.

Edited by ned (log)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I've met Tony Esnault twice now and sampled some of his work product, but in neither case was it a proper meal. On August 16, we had a launch party for Turning the Tables at Tavern on the Green and several of the restaurants that I wrote about in the book came and served food. Esnault and his pastry chef were there doing the "Chocolate / raspberries for the contrast lovers, Tahiti vanilla ice cream" dish, which was very tasty. A photograph, for those who are interested:

gallery_1_295_16256.jpg

After the party we went and had dinner at the Modern's bar room with some friends from North Carolina who had come up for the party and then at 5:45am Ellen went into labor and that afternoon she delivered our son, so I haven't been able to post much in the way of book-party follow-up and I'm not sure how interesting it would be anyway. (Oh let me mention that the moderating team has asked that if you have any good wishes to send regarding the baby that you do so by PM or e-mail not on-thread -- thanks).

I was at ADNY this Wednesday for a "meet Tony Esnault" cocktail party. Apparently there were all these famous people there (Martha Stewart, et al.), but I was unaware thanks to a combination of poor vision and cultural illiteracy. Anyway, the food served was tasty (well, it was excellent and better than most meals at most restaurants with New York Times stars) but it was a butlered hors d'oeuvre thing so again not really worth a full report.

If you're interested in getting a look at Tony Esnault, here's a photo from the Ducasse PR people taken by their photographer (the photo above of the chocolate and raspberries is from Ellen).

gallery_1_295_57812.jpg

That's (left to right) Drew Nieporent, Tony Esnault, Alain Ducasse, Gwenaelle Gueguen (she's Ducasse's significant other) and Alain Sailhac (while now known mostly as the dean of the French Culinary Institute, Sailhac's greater claim to fame is probably that he was the first chef ever to receive four stars from the Times -- he was the chef at Le Cygne at the time).

Now that we've got the baby we're a little less mobile in terms of dining out, but I'm hoping to make it to ADNY before we go on book tour in a couple of weeks. We're going to try to get in there with the whole mishpacah on a night when the aquarium is empty.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is often said that goldfish, left to their own devices, will eat until they explode. Whether or not this is in fact the case, it is easy to see why Alain Ducasse at the Essex House chose to call its private dining room “the Aquarium.”

Being in possession of a newborn, the Ducasse folks were kind enough to let us have the aquarium last night. This was our first experience of Tony Esnault’s cuisine, and apparently we were to eat everything.

Fat Guy will come along later for fuller discussion of the cuisine, but I’m going to post some photographs. The aquarium provides a nice opportunity to photograph dishes without interfering with any other guests’ enjoyment of their meals. I got at least one photo of every dish, though towards the end I can’t promise they’re in focus. But I’ll post them for informational purposes anyway.

I’m not sure I’ve ever posted a photo of the ADNY bread service. It consists of four types: miniature baguette, epi, olive brioche (yum!) and salted-butter brioche. This is the best restaurant bread service I’ve tasted in the US, though Fat Guy says Per Se’s bread service is comparable in quality (I’ve not been).

gallery_122_1858_10041.jpg

Now on to the parts of the meal that reflect Mr. Esnault’s style. Visually (and this is reflected in flavor as well, but of course you can’t tell that from the photos), it took only a couple of plates for me to conclude that Tony Esnault is the first ADNY chef truly composing dishes in the Ducasse style. Christian Delouvrier was cooking in a hybrid style. Didier Elena had Ducasse’s precision but without his expressiveness. Tony Esnault’s plates look as though they’ve leapt off the pages of Ducasse’s Grand Livre, a book I’ve pored over, and they have similar aesthetics to the ADPA dishes (that is the only Ducasse restaurant I’ve been to outside the US). Not slavishly, but in spirit.

Here we have “Carpaccio of blue fin tuna, eggplant caviar/osetra caviar, mozzarella.” The eggplant caviar and mozzarella are, needless to say, underneath.

gallery_122_1858_26147.jpg

Settle in, because this is going to go on for awhile. See goldfish theory, above. Next, “Wild Alaskan salmon lightly poached, baby leeks, brocoletti, ‘nage vinaigrette’.”

gallery_122_1858_26666.jpg

“Chilled steamed langoustine, crunchy vegetables / chanterelles ‘à la grecque’.”

gallery_122_1858_26335.jpg

“Mosaic of selected fruits and vegetables, natural dressing.” Otherwise known as “Why the garde-manger cooks hate Tony Esnault.”

gallery_122_1858_34791.jpg

“Duck foie gras terrine, black mission medley, toasted brioche, country bread.” In an evening of highlights, this was one of the yummiest dishes. The diverse use of figs was brilliant.

gallery_122_1858_11434.jpg

“Delicate shellfish ‘velouté,’ chestnuts, chive/caviar whipped cream.”

gallery_122_1858_22247.jpg

The veloute is added at the table.

gallery_122_1858_1512.jpg

Another dish where the mise-en-place must be punishing: “Maine Lobster, butternut squash, salsify, mango, fresh hearts of palm, ‘jus de presse’.”

gallery_122_1858_3214.jpg

“Chatham cod, braised/raw fennel, clear essence.” Ingredient quality really shone here. I’m not happy with either of these angles but between the two of them you get an idea of the dish’s appearance. This is one of the ones (along with the foie gras ravioli, later) that is not going to look as good in photos as in real life. It is, in person, gorgeous.

gallery_122_1858_21610.jpg

gallery_122_1858_7117.jpg

Next were two white fish dishes on black plates; I think these plates are new to the restaurant.

“Line-caught bass, hearty medley of vegetables, natural broth.” This is probably the only dish of the night where I felt the plating was slightly contrived and didn’t flow from the dish. The identical shapes of all the vegetables felt passé. A delicious dish, yes (the red cabbage pieces were a fun surprise), but too fussy I thought.

gallery_122_1858_25799.jpg

“Australian barramundi slowly cooked, “matelote” garnish.” Delicious fish but I wouldn’t recommend ordering it. When Ducasse has a restaurant in Australia, order the Australian barramundi. Not that I object to imports, but this isn’t like Iranian caviar or Perigord truffles where they’re just better than the local stuff. This is unnecessary; the Chatham cod is better.

gallery_122_1858_33341.jpg

Forgive me. One little photo of our little one.

gallery_122_1858_60319.jpg

This photo, taken by Fat Guy while I was attending to PJ, could probably be called “Out of focus lamb with tutti fruiti garnish.” Actually it was a nice dish, though lamb is not a fave of mine. “Lamb rack ‘au sautoir’, condiment of dried fruit and piquillos, creamy quinoa.”

gallery_122_1858_54940.jpg

The quinoa, prepared like a cross between risotto and grits, is served in a charming silver pot.

gallery_122_1858_24364.jpg

“Foie gras/tapioca ravioli, coated with a sunchoke broth.” The emulsion/foam makes this photographically untenable, but the dish is great. The foie gras and tapioca make for a really special contrast of textures.

gallery_122_1858_21153.jpg

So that’s it for the appetizers.

The raison d’etre for the evening’s visit was to sample the blue foot chicken from California. It’s a whole chicken carved tableside and served for two, in two services. This is what we had after all that other food.

gallery_122_1858_16522.jpg

gallery_122_1858_42104.jpg

gallery_122_1858_39072.jpg

gallery_122_1858_10396.jpg

gallery_122_1858_16012.jpg

gallery_122_1858_2736.jpg

The first service of “Blue foot chicken, crisp and tender endives, sabayon (for two people).”

gallery_122_1858_42377.jpg

Followed by the second service, the dark meat with an endive marmalade.

gallery_122_1858_20391.jpg

It was either the best of one of the two best chickens I’ve ever had, the other contender being the Bresse chicken at Georges Blanc in Vonnas. A very different preparation, though. In any event, a world class chicken served in a fitting manner. Very firm flesh and deep flavor.

The arrival of the cheese cart brought much consternation. I had sort of forgotten that there was cheese involved. And that desserts were still to come. I had a sampling of three blue cheeses. Fat Guy had something like ten cheeses, but even he was slowing down at this point.

gallery_122_1858_40651.jpg

There is little contest for me when it comes to desserts. While I have individual favorite desserts here and there, and while I admire the work of several New York pastry kitchens very much, there is just noplace that compares to ADNY in terms of the consistent excellence, diversity and sheer generosity (or at least the feeling of generosity, since the prices at the restaurant are of course high) of desserts. This is only a partial sampling. The petits fours cart doesn’t fit through the aquarium’s door (neither does a Bugaboo Gecko stroller, by the way, in case this comes up), and I didn’t photograph the macarons, chocolates, pates de fruits . . . .

“Asia/Bartlett pear, soft cake, ‘Vin Jaune granité,’ ginger foam.”

gallery_122_1858_3887.jpg

The best dessert of the evening, maybe of the year: “Apple soufflé, Granny smith compote, ‘tatin’ ice cream.”

gallery_122_1858_38785.jpg

PJ admires the chocolate hedgehog, “Bitter chocolate, mousse and sorbet, praliné biscuit, caramelized almonds”

gallery_122_1858_15244.jpg

“Layers of dark chocolate, praliné ice cream, rice crispy.”

gallery_122_1858_32188.jpg

The herbal tea service at ADNY is worth noting. The mint tea, for example, is prepared directly from a mint plant.

gallery_122_1858_42431.jpg

Sweet snacks kept coming, but PJ was getting fussy so this is the last of the photographic record:

gallery_122_1858_12580.jpg

Thanks.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a whole heck of a lot to add to Ellen's post at this time, except to say that while I loved the cuisine of Didier Elena and of Christian Delouvrier, what we are now seeing at ADNY is truly the cuisine of Alain Ducasse. Yes, through the vehicle of Tony Esnault, but Esnault is cooking -- with seeming effortlessness -- in what feels totally like the Ducasse groove. I went prepared to be disappointed; I left feeling as though ADNY has raised the bar higher.

Edited to add: I should mention that all the above savory dishes save for the chicken, whether from the tasting menu or the carte (you can view both at alain-ducasse.com), were served to us in tasting menu portions. So the carte items would be substantially larger than what you're seeing above.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm guessing jus de presse ..... they had a carcass presser, probably matfer, and crushed the lobster body? those pressers are like 2 grand. did they do it table side?

comments:

the lobster plate looks flawess.

the chicken looks flawless. (was the tableside carving manner smooth and sexy?)

altho that endive looks sad and gross.

where is the tablecloth?

the langoustine vege looks awesome

the line caught bass vege.....oh....my......god. its like a sugar snap pea rainbow? how the hell did they do that? that was probably the most time consuming prep, hands down.

Edited by chefboy24 (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no tablecloth in the aquarium. It's a small dining room overlooking the kitchen that seats a maximum of eight people. Service is directly on the blonde wood table. It's supposed to be a little more "casual" than the restaurant -- the room is full of books, not only by Ducasse but also by other chefs Ducasse admires, and the decor is minimalist black granite and blonde wood with fiber-optic illumination. In the main dining room, of course, they have tablecloths and the expected luxury restaurant trappings.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was there and am having trouble believing it. I've got to say, the arrival of Tony Esnault didn't seem like it was going to open up a great new chapter in the history of ADNY. It seemed like a hurried, backpedaling decision and a narrow choice -- some Ritz Carlton chef I'd never heard of. And the dinner plan was sort of like, bring the baby in and sit in the aquarium so you can try Ducasse's blue foot chicken. Then to have it turn out to be a triumphant menu tasting, and to have Esnault turn out to be a culinary super-genius -- the best meal we've had at ADNY in five and a half years and we've been a lot of times -- was one of the more pleasant culinary surprises I've had in this lifetime. I'll post some wine notes later, to the best of my ability.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...