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Allan Keyes: High-Class Dining, Low-Class Diner

3 Jun

June 3, 2013

AKA: My Dinner at Le Snotterie’ or “My Dinner with Alan Keyes”

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My Dinner at Le Snotterie’ or “My Dinner with Alan Keyes”

Even though I personally prefer places where I can get my eats out of a cardboard box that has pull-off game pieces on it, I understand that other people actually want to be civilized and get a taste of the good life sometimes. So it was with that in mind that I decided to be a sport and treat my fiancée’ (THAT’S RIGHT! A FIANCEE!  A. KEYES IS ALL MAN BABY!) for her birthday and took her to one of the acknowledged best restaurants in NYC:  Jean Georges.  After all, she puts up with me, she deserves it!

I knew this was a classy joint (located in Trump building on Central Park West) since I was pointedly advised 2x when making my reservation that jackets were “required attire” in the dining room, and that sneakers (that word said in the tone of a Frenchman looking at a glass of Budweiser) “would not be permitted under any circumstances.” It was as if they knew what a creep I was just over the phone! Maybe addressing the girl on the end as “toots” was a tipoff?

So being a veteran low-classer, I walked into the restaurant in my little-used and ill-fitting suit, and my rarely worn shoes pinching my feet, ready and wary to do battle with the Upper West Side snots and highbrows whom I detested, and I was ready to do it all for love. And you know what?

IT ROCKED.

Treated like a king, the service was immaculate, the dining room tastefully done, beautiful view of the park. Attentive, knowledgeable service, and sneaky…..more on that later.

And the food?  OH. MY. GAWD.  Now I don’t hold with Shi-Shi frou-frou dishes, but this stuff was nearly impeccable. It took 2 and half hours,  and 5 courses off the Price Fixe menu, but it was all good. I present to you some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten or stolen off someone’s plate when they weren’t looking:

APPETIZERS :

                       1

PEA SOUP WITH PARMESAN FOAM, AND CHEDDAR CROUTON.  The red drink in the corner is a house-made soda, cherry yuzu and ginger ale. Beats a Coke!

 2 

CANADIAN-STYLE FOIE GRAS, WITH HOMEMADE GRANOLA AND SOUR CHERRIES (First time I ever tried foie gras…..DELICIOUS!)

  3

PARMESAN CRUSTED WHITE ASPARAGUS IN LEMON-HERB VINAGRETTE. (The only disappointing note, asparagus was mushy, the sauce too acidic)

 4

 

PARMESAN ENCRUSTED ORGANIC CHICKEN BREAST WITH VEGETABLES (This was the fiancée’s dish, and while there was nothing wrong with it, it was your basic chicken dish)

 5

 

SEARED BEEF TENDERLOIN OVER A RAMP PUREE’ AND SERVED WITH GORGONZOLA PUFFS AND FONDUE. (I’m picky about how I eat my meat, I usually like it a nice dead grey with lots of charcoal, but I asked for this medium well. PERFECTLY cooked. I could pop those gorgonzola puffs like potato chips. I don’t know what ramps are but they make cream spinach taste like cream crap. The fondue is ok, but on the side. I saw some Asian guy pour that entire sauce over his steak, I wanted to go over and crack him out. Also, did I mention that the bread basket contained both sourdough and PRETZEL bread!??! How awesome is that?!)

 6

 

AFTER DINNER SORBET “TARTLETS” TO CLEANSE THE PALATE.  (Passion Fruit, Pink Grapefruit and Red Wine. Kind of wasted on me but I suppose my palate was cleansed)

 7

 

FIANCEE’S DESSERT: CHOCOLATE TASTING PLATE. LAVA CAKE, VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM, CHOCOLATE-CINNAMON SPONGECAKE, RED WINE SORBET W/ CHOCOLATE GANOSH, RHUBARB ICE CREAM.  (All delicious except for the red wine sorbet. Once it melted it tasted like crappy red wine. FEH.)

 8

 

MY DESSERT:  THE CARAMEL TASTING PLATE.  PAIN PARDUE BANANAS FOSTER (*DROOOOOOL*), HAZELNUT PRALINE WAFER W/ CHOCOLATE, SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM AND BLACK PEPPER CARAMEL CREAM. (It sounds nuts but the black pepper caramel was amazing, in that BLACK PEPPER tasted good in a dessert.)

Anyway, the staff was sneaky. When we settled in, they asked us if this was our first time, and offhandedly, if it was a special occasion. We told them why and went on with discussing the menu with them.  And later on, they gave us this with dessert:

 9

SOME SORT OF RASPBERRY CAKE (We didn’t have room to eat a bite and I forgot what the waitress said, I was too busy shoveling bananas foster down my throat)

Oh, and for shits and giggles they also bought to the table the following:

–          A tray of assorted petite-fours

–          Homemade marshmallow squares

–          Chocolate take-home mints in a swell JG monogrammed gift bag

Below, all of the various desserts before we destroyed them:

10

In related news, I’m going up a tux size for my wedding. I wonder why……

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