Last week I had the honor to attend Harlem and Paris Meet in Midtown, a dinner at Sofitel New York. Red Rooster executive chef Marcus Samuelsson and chef Robert Hohman of Gaby Brasserie Française teamed up to celebrate this unique relationship predating the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The evening was magical.
The room was bathed in red, French streetlight posts glowing, and large blowup photos of iconic period starlets. The tables were filled with vintage vinyl, clocks, art and poetry. The Rakiem Walker Project was making the room feel just right with sultry wind instruments.
With wines of Bordeaux at the ready, the six-course meal began with tuna crudo with pickled turnips, Brussel sprout leaves and pomegranate and blood orange nage. I adored every ounce of this dish, so much so I had the server leave it at the empty setting next to me. Bright, tart, smooth and crunchy. Bravo!
Course two brought gnocchi with crispy chicken oysters, sunchokes, tatsoi and porcini velouté. Chicken oysters come from the back of the chicken and are the most tender. That porcini velouté was everything and then some, filled with umami! The paired Clos Floridène Blanc was the perfect pairing and my favorite of the night.
The evening got even more special when Lana Turner, regaled in a pink feather hat and satin gloves, began a Harlem-style review with a poem. The singers made me cry with joy and an occasional, “SING!” Thank you.
Course three brought fried green tomato with pickled melon and duck confit. Course four, braised beef cheeks and foie gras over creamy grits and bathed in freshly shaved winter truffles, made my olfactory go crazy.
And what is a French meal without a cheese plate? World-renowned cheese monger Roland Barthelemy put together a plate of soft ripened, hard sheep and blue cheese for us with almonds, fresh honeycomb and dried fruit. I took my time with this one.
Finally, dessert of sweet potato panna cotta, praline cracker and fruit relish cooked in ginger beer and finished with cranberry gastrique. With a lovely Sauternes wine, we were all set!
Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!