Picholine Review: Picholine
Throughout college I was always the cheapest guy amongst my group of friends. Spaghetti every week and ramen went a loooong way. I even packed lunch during freshman yea. How many college kids pack lunch?!? Weirdo. Once my aunt even called and told me to not be so frugal, and that it was okay to spend money on food. That of course was after mom had called and said the same thing. It was something along the lines of, “You cannot eat instant ramen and spaghetti everyday. Stop that.” Cheap tendencies die hard, and when Eater reported about a free $50 dollar gift card, I was all over that like seeds in a watermelon (you know, all up in it). Because usually, it costs $88 dollars for a 3 course prix fixe, and there was just no way in hell I would eat that at full price. For $38 dollars, that was just the same as a Restaurant Week dinner. I’m down with that.
First off, if you want the giftcard, sign up at Picholine‘s website. Two of my friends also got it in the mail, so it’s pretty legit. You have to know also that it’s one gift card per table, therefore you only get to feel like it’s a RW experience if you eat… by yourself. Man, how lame am I? Oh the things I do for the blog…
The amuse bouche was a little tomato thing and then a custard like thing in an egg shell. Mostly it was fine, nothing to write home about. I’m not so used to eating at places where you actually get an amuse bouche, and you know how I do, free food is good even if it’s two tiny pieces. The best part of the entire meal soon followed, and it was the Sea urchin panna cotta with caviar.
This dish demonstrated why a $38 faux-RW meal beats a real RW meal, who would put caviar on the menu during RW? The sea urchin panna cotta and the caviar were good eaten alone, but made a great pairing. The dish also came with some potato crisps which were some really thing pieces of potato that were dusted with seaweed. The idea was to put the panna cotta on the crisp but that was unnecessary since the crisps were ultra thin and did not add much to overall enjoyment.
For the entree, I was either going to get the rabbit or the squab but you know, pigeons are not generally on my grocery list. This was only my second time eating pigeon or squab and the meat reminded me of duck meat. Picholine’s kitchen cooked the squab perfectly with a pink center and crispy skin. The dish also came with some figs and foie gras. When you combine all the major components (a piece of tender squab, sweet fig, licorice sauce, and smooth foie gras) into one bite, it was a real delight.
I picked a liquid tart for dessert. Basically instead of a baked center, they put some melted dark chocolate in there, and covered it with a thin disc of hard dark chocolate. I liked being able to drink a portion of my dessert but the dessert was not super amazing. After the dessert they give you mignardises and if I had know, I would have opted for a fruity dessert instead of a chocolatey one. Most fancy joints probably give you mignardises, right? Shows you how much I know…
When I compare the food to other RW experiences, I consider this dinner at Picholine for $38 a steal. But I also was reminded just how effing boring it is to eat alone. At the beginning of the meal the hostess asked me if I had a show to attend after the meal (Picholine is right by the Lincoln Center), and I should have lied and said ‘yes’. That way, they would have helped me rush through the meal, since it’s so boring to just sit there in an intimate setting with a DSLR. Weeeeeeeee!
If you go, bring someone. Obviously you won’t get as much of a deal as I did, since your $50 gift card would be split into two, but it would be much more enjoyable.
Picholine35 W 64th St.New York, NY 10023212-724-8585
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