NEW York City sizzles once again with Restaurant Week happening from July 24 to Aug. 18.
The semi-annual promotion that celebrates fine dining at affordable prices is held at the peak of summer and winter.
I consider myself lucky to be in New York City at this time of the year once again.
Participating restaurants are offering a three-course prix fixe menu for lunch at $29 and dinner at $42, a fraction of the cost of dining in upscale restaurants. There are close to 400 restaurants participating, so choosing where to go can be daunting task.
My daughter Patricia, who works for celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, serves as my guide to the culinary wonders of New York City. She chooses the cuisine, the restaurant, and makes the reservations through Open Table where she also earns free meals with accumulated points.
With my granddaughter Sabrina in Summer Camp for the day, Patricia and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Aureole, the flagship restaurant of the Charlie Palmer Group, located on 42nd Street, not far from the blinking fluorescent glow of the world famous Times Square and the
Charlie Palmer is a multi awarded American celebrity chef, restaurateur, hotel owner and author. He is a frequent guest in the popular Today Show of NBC.
He describes his culinary style as progressive American cuisine with bold dynamic flavors and unexpected combination built on the foundation of classic French technique.
His love for cooking was influenced by his childhood experience in his family’s vegetable farm where only fresh ingredients were used in their kitchen.
For the first course, Patricia chose the refreshing Cucumber Gazpacho with lovage and crab crème fraîche.
Lovage is a perennial plant whose leaves and roots are used to season broth with flavors of celery and parsley, while crème fraîche is similar to sour cream but less tangy and creamier.
I had Garganelli with stracciatella and heirloom tomato.
Garganelli is an egg-based pasta formed by rolling a square flat noodle into tubular shape while stracciatella is cheese formed from Italian buffalo milk using stretching and shredding technique.
I felt the texture of small cheese threads as I ate the delicious dish. I was told that Aureole’s Executive Chef Gabriele Carpentieri hails from Milan whose culinary pursuit was influenced by frequent visits to his grandfather’s olive farm.
His handmade pastas are celebrated in the menu. As a habit, we always share our choices from the menu.
Patricia’s Grilled Veal Chop with sweet corn, confit tomatoes and rosemary jus looked very appetizing. Cooked
medium rare, the veal was tender and juicy. Veal is meat from calves and can be more expensive than beef from older cattle.
My choice of Pan-Roasted Salmon, cooked medium rare, was on a bed of bok choy and bean salsa.
A fruit person, I easily picked Peach Melba, a dessert of fresh, ripe peaches with raspberry puree and vanilla ice cream topped with almond tuile.
This dish was invented in 1893 by French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London to honor Australian soprano, Nellie Melba. Meanwhile, chocolate lover Patricia had the Chocolate Layer Cake, a scrumptious fudge cake with chocolate ganache served with mixed berry sorbet.