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Beacon Kitchen Counter

“Smoky” kir royale

Lobster fritters, saffron, tarragon, sherry vinegar dip

Fennel amuse, herb butter, fleur de sel

Wild mushroom pizza, red onion, basil
Leffe Blonde Ale from Belgium

Roasted oysters, shallot mignonette, herbs

Seared scallop, butter-braised cabbage, Granny Smith apple, jalapeno
2005 Don David Sauvignon Blanc, Argentina

Hot smoked wild bass, fennel, lemon butter sauce, served in corn husks

Kabocha stuffed ravioli, capers, sage butter sauce, garlic

Roast squab, huckleberry conserve, salsify, brussels sprouts
2003 Domaine Sylvain Pataille, Marsannay

Roast marrow bone, garlic, fresh horseradish, toast points

Braised short ribs, foie gras, acorn squash puree, grits
Petit Verdot, Napa, California

Kobe beef, pickled chantrelle mushrooms

French fries with mustard sauce

Quince sorbet, verjus, grapefruit, butter cookies
2006 Gatti Piero, Brachetto, Italy

Chocolate souffle, smoked vanilla ice cream

For detailed critiques of each dish, click on my Flickr account on the sidebar at the right hand side of your screen.

Chef Waldy Malouf, formerly of The Four Seasons and The Rainbow Room is the executive chef and co-owner of Beacon. The gimmick here is cooking everything over an open fire: wood-roasted trout, spit-roasted duck with grilled scallions, roast suckling pig with grilled apples and bitter chocolate rub, even oysters. The house-baked breads are outstanding. Although Beacon is primarily a restaurant, it also has a full-service bar that features an exciting and adventurous cocktail list for the mixologists among us.

Chef Malouf’s newest venture is “Beacon Kitchen Counter”. Six seatings once a week in full view of the open kitchen. Guests are able to dine from a twelve-course tasting menu for the low price of $85 per person, not including tax and tip. Reservations are hard to come by as the restaurant is booked solid for the next few months. (I reserved for tonight’s dinner back in early November.)

Out of 10? Difficult to say based on one visit. Perhaps a moderate to high range 6. There were several items that I felt were not as original as other dishes I’ve had elsewhere, or needed work in terms of execution. Also, twelve courses spaced out over two to two and a half hours (including wine) is A LOT of food to take in one sitting. Most of it is quite rich, and were I not possessed of good genes, I could easily qualify for a coronary. This is not meant to dissuade you from going if you like to eat, as I do. It’s just meant to give you an honest idea of what to expect. Go for the experience, if not for the “wow” factor.

Beacon is located at 25 West 56th Street (5th Avenue) in midtown Manhattan.

Discussion on eGullet can be viewed here.

7 replies »

  1. I echo Scott’s incredulity. I would have been ill. Well, actually I wouldn’t, since I couldn’t have eaten over half of those dishes anyway.

    I assume “the low price of $85” was meant tongue in cheek. That’s the equivalent of two fancy dinners for me.


  2. David —

    Price is relative. The most expensive meal I’ve ever had was dinner at Sugiyama in midtown Manhattan, circa 2001. $175 per person for a 9-course kaiseki. Sushi, impeccable sashimi, wagyu beef cooked on a hot stone, and ankimo (monkfish) liver amongst other delicacies. A meal that shall forever live in dreams. That being said, this post is proof enough that just because it costs a great deal of money doesn’t mean it’s worth every penny. To be honest, I’d have been happier going to a perennial favorite like Hearth or a revisit to Gramercy Tavern. An okay experience for what it was.

    If I’m spending that kind of money, I want to be touched in all the right places. This boy likes to scream.

    Jonathan —

    Marrow bones are incredibly rich which is why you don’t see me posting about them much. As far as Beacon’s version goes, it was somewhat restrained though execution needed work. For instance, there’s Prune, a West Village restaurant owned by chef Gabrielle Hamilton. The roasted bones there are accompanied by a parsley salad and pickled cornichons. Re last night, there was nothing to cut the richness, though the one saving grace was that I didn’t end up being overwhelmed by fat.


  3. Leffe, fries (all be it French ones) and Brussels sprouts, did you know I was going to Belgium next weekend?

    I was going to ask what kabocha was, but decided to try wikipedia first, so I wouldn’t have to show my ignorance…

    Never had marrow, but I’ll try everything once.


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