Knife and Fork

Dinner tonight at Knife and Fork. One of the newest restaurants in the East Village, Knife and Fork is the brainchild of Chef Damien Brassel, formerly of Peacock Alley in Dublin, Ireland and Ferme de Montagne in Les Gets, France. In New York, he has worked in Bobby Flay’s restaurants as well was with Patricia Yeo of Sapa.

Chef Brassel’s cuisine is “modern European with touches of contemporary American”.

Amuse-bouche: Consommé of sun-dried tomato

House cured salmon, fennel salad, extra-virgin olive oil and herbs
2005 Tramin Pinot Noir

Seared garlic-herb crusted tuna, seaweed salad, prawn ceviche, basil tomato shot

Warm goat cheese served with parmesan cream, polenta, black truffle and asparagus

Seared quail, stuffed with foie gras mash and chicken and garlic mousse, served with bacon, carrot brunoise and a cabernet sauvignon glaze
2002 Crianza Rioja Vieja

Roasted duck breast with parsnip purée, summer berries, enoki mushroom and coffee reduction

Cheese plate

This was a tasting menu: five savory courses, cheese plate and dessert for $45, though I should note that I skipped dessert because I was rapidly approaching my limit. With two glasses of wine and bottled water, the total bill came to $90 (with a 20% gratuity). I felt that the first two courses were tied with the quail a strong second. The polenta was quite rich; the duck seemed a bit too daring conceptually for my taste. There were undertones of sweetness in the coffee reduction but somehow it didn’t mesh as a whole with respect to the entire dish. Evaluating the duck, it seemed overly subtle and needed a lift flavorwise — but as I pointed out to Chef Brassel, there’s no accounting for personal taste. The fact that his restaurant has been booked solid for the past three months is a strong testament to his cooking.

Out of 10? A strong 8. Although the duck didn’t quite work with me, I give points to Chef Brassel for the thoughtfulness that he puts into his cooking. Quite nice for a first visit. I’ll definitely be back.

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