The ritzy dining room at Chevalier just isn't the same without Charles Masson, Pete Wells argues. The famed La Grenouille veteran worked the room when the Midtown restaurant opened earlier this year, but now he's gone. Thankfully, chef Shea Gallante's menu of luxe French fare is full of winners. Here's Pete on one of his favorites from the menu, plus a dish that didn't work:
The charcuterie plate is a marvel of offal craftsmanship: duck rillettes with a bullet of foie gras shot right through the center; rough-hewed and pistachio-flecked liverwurst; calf’s tongue and chicken liver mousse layered in a terrine with a bronze jiggle of Madeira jelly on top; saucisson sec with a clear, bracing fermented sourness.
Wow. But the same restaurant that achieved this near miracle also served foie gras mousse as cold and hard as butter right out of the refrigerator. I couldn’t spread it; worse, I couldn’t taste it.
If the menu was consistently great, it sounds like Wells might be headed for a three-spot rating, but today he just gives the restaurant two stars. His review also notes that in September, Chevalier will introduce an a la carte menu (it currently offers two prix fixe options), and the bar might also lower its prices a bit. During one of the critic's meals, a guest paid $24 for a cocktail.