Can a foie gras lollipop encapsulate the ambitions of resurrected chef David Waltuck and élan co-owner George Stinson? After closing beloved Chanterelle, a recession casualty, Waltuck returns to the kitchen at the former Veritas space in Gramercy. If the message is casual luxury delivered with a dose of whimsy, then this deceptively simple opening act conveys flawlessly élan’s defining statement. A paper stick protrudes from each of two chunky green balls presented sans circumstance on a bare plate. With the understated appearance of a latchkey culinary project, instinct would urge diners to just grab it and bite. But knowledge that layers of foie gras mousse hide inside restrains the bite to an exploratory nibble. A crunchy exterior of chopped pistachio gives way to the silky foie gras prize concealing a sweet and chewy fig core. Like a playful, high-brow lollipop: élan.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2014