Restaurant: Dovetail NYC
Cuisine: Contemporary American Cuisine
Chef: John Fraser
Location: Steps away from the Museum of Natural History, UWS
One of the greatest joys of living in Manhattan (trust me, there are plenty of offsetting sacrifices as well:))) is discovering really cool and amazing restaurants on your own. There is a special sense of satisfaction and achievement when you find a place by accident and it turns out to be fantastic.
I believe we stumbled upon Dovetail about eight years ago, pretty much as soon as we moved to the Lincoln Center neighborhood of Manhattan. Every weekend, my husband and I would venture out to different parts of the Upper West Side to discover new, exciting places to eat. One time, as were walking past Dovetail, we just decided to walk in. Not to sound too cocky, but I have an innate sense of how good a restaurant is just by looking at its front door, sign, and the people who go in and out. In Dovetail’s case, located in between the blocks right off Columbus Avenue, it is easy to overlook, but once you’ll find it, you will quickly realize that it is one of the jewels of contemporary American cuisine.
Dovetail is a Michelin starred restaurant with superb modern American haute cuisine that is inventive and a cut above anything else that we tried in this genre. John Fraser is a very talented chef which is evident in his approach to the menu with an unwavering utilization of local ingredients and artisanal, art-work-like visual effects of his preparations. The same meticulousness extends to the wine list which has some American and French gems. Once we discovered Dovetail, we couldn’t stay away and went there almost every week until we sampled and re-sampled everything they had.
Last summer, Dovetail went through significant interior renovation, transforming the already a warm convivial space into a more modern, lighter and chic dining room with a top quality restaurant.
With the new, lighter wood and white painted exposed brick walls, the space still exudes warmth and comfort, but it now has a bit of an edge. Needless to say, we liked the new look.
House made bread served with herbed cream cheese. For those of you who’ve been to Dovetail in the past, you’ll probably remember its divine buttery cheddar corn bread (which I will surely miss as it is off the menu).
This sophisticated flight of canapés, however, more than makes up for the corn bread! I got over the lack of cornbread with the first bite of foie gras terrine in mango leather, sprinkled with black sesame seeds on top.
Egg croquet with black caviar is another delicious canapé.
Chickpea raviolo with country ham and earthy cumin spice, covered in potato foam was reminiscent of a very fancy version of thepierogis- so much more tender and delicate!
One of Chef Fraser’s fortes is to cook vegetables to perfection. Simple, yet gorgeous vegetable-based appetizer of market carrots, white bean puree, coffee infused walnuts and house-smoked duck prosciutto.
My husband’s choice was roasted baby beets, coated in crumbled pistachios and paired with Beluga lentils, thin shavings of marinated beets and a touch of rose water cream.
Our first course was paired with an excellent Clos de la Bergerie and De Toute Beaute from France.
For the main course, Gary had Mousseline of Dover sole with charred leeks, marble potatoes and watercress sauce. In his own words, “It’s unlike any other sole I have ever had.” Instead of having a traditional thin filet flat on the plate, the artisans at Dovetail rolled it into a tight roulade which gave the sole an intriguingly light, succulent consistency. If I didn’t know that it was sole, I would have never guessed. The sole was paired with the Familiar Blanc white from Dirty & Rowdy in California. This wine previously unknown to us was silky and smooth without any overpowering tastes that let the sole with its outstanding sauce, be the star.
Spring lamb with lamb shoulder baked into buckwheat crepes, pear and green olives was perfectly prepared with meticulous attention including the edges. This fabulous dish was paired with an outstanding Cote du Rhone from Domaine du Vieux Chene.
For dessert, yogurt panna cotta with diced, slightly sweet rhubarb, coconut oats and bitters. I have to say that I love to make panna cotta and consider myself an expert, but this one gave me competition!
We loved the “new” Dovetail and felt as if we re-discovered it all over again. Now we’ve already been back there since this photo shoot and are bringing four of our friends this weekend. It’s like a deja vu- I think that we’ll keep on going there every week until we try everything on the menu!
LOOK: A sheer black tulle Gucci dress with mini paillettes detailing along the waistband and the front center. Love mixing feminine with masculine, in this look, I wore oversized biker jacket in Burgundy, also from Gucci and Alai heels in suede that I snatched last season on sale.