Best Outer Borough Tasting Menu New York 2013 - Bear
Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky came to the United States as a political refugee following the collapse of the USSR, and determination is in her blood. So is art, thanks to her father, renowned Ukrainian painter Alexander Pogrebinsky. With the plate as her canvas at Bear, the chef employs the flavors, colors, and textures of her childhood home as the palette for her exquisite tasting menu. Oysters and scallop crudo are meticulously placed into a citrus pond adorned with shimmering caviar and spicy microgreens. The oyster shell becomes a miniature sailboat anchored on a bed of lava salt, housing codfish liver and salmon roe with a rice paper sail. Paper-thin lamb tongue is suspended in consommé aspic with fennel, nameko mushrooms, and beet-tinted horseradish, all crosshatched with wisps of dill. The dill also playfully brightens the gravy for her handmade veal dumplings. These miniature morsels of nouveau European (or Ukrainian) artwork are every bit as beautiful in the mouth as they are on the plate. The six- to 10-course tasting changes with seasonal availability, and reservations are required. Vodka or wine pairings are available as supplements.