Friday, May 26, 2017

Eleven Reasons You Want the Met Dining Room to Open to the Public

1.  One might not think that the chef at a museum dining room would be the prime impetus to go, but at the Member's Only Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chef Fred Sabo inarguably is.  He is a hyper-talented Long Island native with an impressive global resume, which reflects the menu here.  My hopes is that soon enough everyone will be able to enjoy his food.

2.  The view:  the room itself is strikingly unnattractive, especially compared to the wealth of beauty housed beneath it.  But the view is spectacular, regardless of the weather, with large windows slanted skyward skirted by the plentiful treetops of Central Park.

3.  And then the most important bits, the food.   Grilled carrots with a granola of cashews, dukkah, and amaranth, zipped up with a verdant ramp relish for a crown of seasonality.

4.  A vegan leek potato soup so pretty it belonged downstairs.  

5.  A luscious frisbee of lemony tuna carpaccio which gets a spark from pickled fresno pepper.

6.  Mild spears of jumbo white asparagus with just a hint of char from the grill amplified by a smoked egg yolk in a creamy flounce beneath, and dotted with fresh, briny orbs of vibrant orange trout roe.

7.  Pan-seared local skate achieving an immaculate crispy bronze, plated with a salty herbed risotto loaded with meaty shrimp, summer squash and zesty green garlic.

8.  Blackened swordfish, meaty and dense with a bright lemon jam and those Russian roulette of peppers, the capricious shishitos.

9.  A meaty halibut filet (or scallops, or King salmon), seared golden a la plancha and served with farro and spaghetti squash, along with a trio of sauces to daub amongst as you fancy.

10.  A refreshingly sweet and savory tomato-watermelon gazpacho palate cleanser, simultaneously bright and robust.

11.  Any and all of the spectacular desserts by Randy Eastman, which fight for the honor of being more gorgeous or more delicious.  A strawberry-rhubarb tartlet sits aside a small scoop of milky gelato with an eggy custard below that marries the components like a trifle not to be trifled with.  A tangy lemon pudding sprinkled with lovely borage blossoms featured plumps saucy blueberries, bursting with jammy sweetness.  

So while my heart breaks that an institution so fundamental to this city should even have to consider opening up its doors to the public as a result of apparent financial duress, the fact that it might would
make its dining scene all that more glorious.

1000 Fifth Avenue                                                                 At this point, the phone number is irrelevant.

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