Groundbreaking NY Times Review; Truffle Season at NJ Restaurants

Am I the only one who thinks it’s a huge deal that NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells crossed the Hudson for his review of Thirty Acres in Jersey City in last Wednesday’s Dining section? Maybe not as huge as George Washington crossing the Delaware, but still…

English: Washington Crossing the Delaware 1856...

English: Washington Crossing the Delaware 1856-71 George Caleb Bingham oil on canvas, 93 x 146 cm, Chrysler Museum of Art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I admire Wells for being open-minded, and more importantly I think he is the best Times reviewer since Ruth Reichl, both for his culinary insights and his skilled prose. Do you agree or disagree? btw: Wells’ review was a rave. Here’s the link to the restaurant Thirty Acres. Congrats to everyone there!

Truffle Menus at Avenue & Nicholas

Have these restaurants snagged some kind of special deal on black truffles, despite the Perigord beauties going for record prices? I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is they’re offering some pretty super-sounding menus that also appear to be fantastic bargains. (Everything being relative, of course).

Avenue, Pier Village, Long Branch

French-born executive chef Dominique Filoni has two distinct truffle menus on tap for January, each at $50 for 3 courses.

From now through the 15th:Avenue Truffle Scrambled Duck Egg
Scrambled Duck Eggs Infused with Truffles

Truffle Risotto with Celeriac, Pine Nuts, and Truffle Espuma

Valrhona Chocolate Truffles
(Pictured above: Avenue’s scrambled duck eggs infused with truffles. Eggs are sealed in a container for a couple of weeks to absorb the aroma, with truffle shavings added during final prep.)

Then, at Avenue from January 15th through the end of the month:

Sea Scallop and Truffle Carpaccio
Trio of Braised Beef Tongue, Oxtail, and Tripe with Truffle Brunoise
House-made Truffle Ice Cream

Chef Filoni is also offering to add shaved truffle to any dish for $15, and will point to which dishes are paired best with truffles.

Nicholas, Red Bank

Black Perigord Truffle, wikipedia.org

Black Perigord Truffle, wikipedia.org

Starting Thursday, January 10th until “the supply of fresh truffles runs out,” here’s what Nicholas Harary and crew are featuring at NJ’s top-rated restaurant, for $125:

Amuse: Black Truffle and Foie Gras Macaroon
First Course:Wild Mushroom, Celery Root Puree, Coconut and Black Truffle
Second Course: Lobster, Black Truffle Dashi, Tokyo Turnip, Red Wine
Third Course: Duck Egg, Parmigiano Reggiano, Tagliatelle, Black Truffle    Fourth Course: Duck Confit and Black Truffle Pot Pie
Dessert: Strawberry, Black Truffle, Sabayon
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6 responses to “Groundbreaking NY Times Review; Truffle Season at NJ Restaurants

  1. Agreed! The Pete Wells review is significant … finally, a little EnJay love from The NY Times. It’s been too long!

  2. I’d think the review was a bigger deal if the restaurant had a more enticing menu. I live nearby, and still haven’t gone there because the menu never sounds very appetizing — especially for the price point.

  3. Ms. Jacobs,
    You do realize that when you go to a place like Nicholas, they will adjust almost any ingredient to make it more appetizing for you. Also almost any item on the tasting menu can be ordered a la carte in a larger single portion.

    • John: I think there’s some confusion here. You mention Nicholas in your comment to June Jacobs, but I think you really were referring to Thirty Acres, right? (Although you’re observation applies to most high-end restaurants.) Thanks for your input. – Pat

      • Thank you Pat for helping me. Now that I looked at Ms. Jacob’s resume, I feel slightly foolish but even more confused. I am not in her class but I have been cooking at home for 30 years too (amateur). I am a very picky eater; I don’t like a lot of cooked vegetables and don’t eat seafood (even tuna fish!). As an aside I have been to Nicholas (not Thirty Acres yet) and find it to be a great restaurant with fair prices for the ingredients and labor involved. Another one of my great meals was when my wife & I finished our post graduate work in Chicago 32 years ago. We went to Le Francais while Jean Banchet was cooking. I still remember his pheasant consomme in croute after poking a hole in the puff pastry on top!

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