Colicchio and Sons | Chelsea, Manhattan, NY
After writing and reading through this review, I recognized that I had wanted to start it off by saying that I highly respect the artistry and focus of the Head Chef and those responsible for determining the selections of the Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe menu. As someone who loved Colicchio & Sons for everything they had to offer, my opinion in this piece should not discourage you from trying their normal seasonal menu because this article focuses simply what they had positioned and prepared for Valentine’s Day.
Parker House Rolls
One question: What happened to the Parker House Rolls?
During my first four visits to Colicchio and Sons with my wife, we were blown away by their in-house made Parker House Rolls. The recipe from 2010 can be found on saveur.com when Tom Colicchio was so kind as to share it: http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/tom-colicchio-parker-house-rolls-bread
What I do know is this: They’re gone. They were so gone to the point where I didn’t even have the heart to post a picture of what they were during this specific meal. We were that disappointed… and sad, to say the least.
The parker house rolls during our first four visits were immaculate. They were piping hot, fresh out of the oven, buttery and perfectly salted, fluffy on the inside, firm only on top where the butter was brushed on. Perfectly perfect. They used to serve the rolls with butter for you to add but there was none this time around either. You’ll see the original rolls below:
In fact, they used to come with a total of six rolls, like you see above. This time around there were only four. Which is fine… because it’s impossible to even finish half a batch after knowing that it’s not the same bread recipe that they used to serve.
Why did they change the recipe? Because they found out that people were only going to Colicchio and Sons because of the bread? Well… it’s too bad because this may be our last time going to Colicchio and Sons. And no lie, it’s because the original parker house rolls are no longer there.
The new parker house rolls were dry, without question. They tried to make it look like they were fresh out of the oven but it is painfully obvious that the rolls are not baked inside of the cast iron tray that it is served in. I know for sure that way back when, they were… and there were six rolls that fit perfectly, snugly in that cast iron tray. The rolls were perfect. They used to be perfect and now there’s about a centimeter of space between the bread and the cast iron tray that they come in because well, they weren’t baked in the tray. It’s tough because I’ve had dinner rolls on some transatlantic flights that had a nicer texture than what we had this evening. (Is that too harsh? Maybe I’m just that upset about the bread.)
From The Chef
I don’t remember exactly what this amuse bouche was. It had potatoes and some beans. It was creamy and a great way to start the meal. Very tasty.
Wild Sturgeon Caviar, Egg Yolk & Chive Crème Fraîche
This dish was very difficult for me to enjoy, possibly because it was served cold. It was also the extreme opposite of the first dish that they had brought out from the Chef. The first dish raised our expectations!
Of course, I understand that the caviar should only be served cold, possibly even on ice, but the texture of the caviar with the texture of the egg yolk and crème fraîche made everything somewhat slippery and cold when mixing together in my mouth. It’s tough because I was expecting so much out of this dish. When I had read the description, I envisioned the dish to come out with cooked egg yolk, or something that was warm… like a soft boiled egg. I’m familiar with cooked/chopped egg, onions and caviar. This is normal to me… so seeing what was on the plate was definitely a surprise.
I’m also used to eating caviar on something crispy/crunchy to provide a balance in texture. The corn flake like items on top of the egg yolk that you see below just wasn’t enough to balance out the mushiness of the rest of the dish.
This was tough… really tough for me. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish the dish.
Kanpachi, Citrus & Yuzu-Ginger Emulsion
I thoroughly understand the idea and reasoning behind serving the Yuzu-Ginger Emulsion with the sliced mandarin oranges. Plating those components with Kanpachi made things difficult for me to understand.
The dish was much too… citrus-y and acidic for my taste.
My wife enjoyed it though.
Roasted Octopus, Caramelized Endive & Chorizo Vinaigrette
The octopus was nicely seasoned and it tasted okay. The texture of the octopus was a little mushy though. You could say that it was like butter, but I wish they had grilled this instead of roasted it. Grilled Octopus would have given this dish the sear and the pep that it needed! The Chorizo Vinaigrette, well… I totally missed it. Was it even on there somewhere?
Wish I knew what they were trying to get at with this dish, as a whole.
The dish is beautiful. It looks beautiful. I wish it tasted as beautiful as it looked.
Garganelli, Broccoli Rabe, Lemon & Peperoncini
This dish was the best dish of all of the courses.
It was the comforting, relatable, and soothing kind of dish that I was hoping for throughout the course of the whole meal. The pepperonci added a nice heat to the dish, the buttery sauce was simple and perfect, and the lemon wasn’t crazy and overpowering.
This is the dish to order!!
I wish I could have had ten servings of this dish for dinner that day. Only this dish please.
Orecchiette, Shelling Beans, Fresno Chilies & Prosciutto
This was a close second.
The sauce that was used was super buttery and delicious. The prosciutto brought a texture that we all crave, but here’s the thing…. the Orecchiette was under cooked. The Orecchiette was firm, almost too firm, and I wish it stayed in the pot for another three minutes to cook through some more. I think the chef or the kitchen team was hoping that it would reach al dente in the butter sauce but unfortunately, it didn’t make it to that point.
The beans were interesting, they’d wedge themselves into the orecchiette. The their texture was almost identical so it was tough to determine what was what in the dimly lit room.
30-Day Dry-Aged Sirloin, Sweet Potato & Maitake Mushrooms
Do you see the white lines of inter-muscular fat through the steak? That’s what some have described that white line to be. If the white lines aren’t that, then it’d have to be silverskin, also known as connective tissue. #rough
It would have been the perfect slice of steak, yeah, it was only one slice of steak, if it were not for the chewy white parts of the steak. It was tough so I cut through it… but couldn’t they have chosen a different cut of steak? Sure, it may look pretty to see that white line of connective tissue but that sacrifices the whole experience for the look of the protein on the plate. The veggies were good, you know… they’re the veggies that come with the steak. I mean, how can they mess that up?
Black Truffle Stuffed Amish Chicken, Chestnuts & Tuscan Kale
This dish ties with the Garganelli for the best dish of the night!
If I could have the garganelli and this dish together… with double the serving, it would be the perfect meal.
In the picture above, you’ll be able to see the black truffle in the chicken. It’s nicely layered (not stuffed really…) between the skin and the slice of chicken. The sauce was generously plated and the flavors were just #perfect.
#Comforting, #soothing, #enjoyable.
This is a great dish and I wish I could really have this with the garganelli. I just can’t say that enough!
Sweets from the Pastry Chef
I have a big sweet tooth.
I’m all about sweets but this plate didn’t hit any spots for me.
You know how some Godiva chocolates are just totally out there sometimes? And then of course, they have the chocolate dipped strawberries and the awesomely expensive truffles?
Yeah… This was just a plate of the chocolates that are totally out there.
Milk Chocolate Semifreddo | Black Sesame, Bergamot & Honey-Lavender Sorbet
Really? The lavender threw me off. Totally thrown off.
The minute we took it off of the dessert and tried our hardest to ignore the slight hints of whatever was left over on the semifreddo, we finally had a chance to enjoy the dish. God… Honey-Lavender Sorbet?
It hurts… it hurts so bad.
Toasted Coconut Doughnuts | Macademia Nut, Hibiscus & Passion Fruit Sherbet
They were okay.
The Passion Fruit Sherbet was tart, very tart.
The Hibiscus threw me off so much.
The Doughnuts felt hollow and dry.
Thank god for whatever sugar was on there.
They looked like two banana slices. So tiny.
Red Velvet Bar
That’s what was in the treasure chest. A bar of Red Velvet Cake. Normally they sent us away with incredible muffins for the next day, but not this time around. The Red Velvet bar was dry and had a waxy texture.
We loved and adored Colicchio & Sons.
Every single time we went, the experience was positive, comforting, enjoyable, relaxed, and of course, high-class. At this point, it seems like Colicchio & Sons may be losing their identity a little bit, moving away from what was comforting and flavorful, relatable, and delicious.
They’re going for the french sized portions and plating… and flavors that are a little out there.
Our experiences with Colicchio & Sons had been outstanding up until this point. In fact, this was our second Valentine’s Day with them. We also celebrated our Anniversary with Colicchio & Sons where they had provided a customized menu congratulating myself and my wife. They provided some of the most incredible touches to the meal and experience… and those will never be forgotten, however, unfortunately we visit the establishment not only for the little touches but also in order to enjoy the food and artistry that is being presented to us on a plate.
Fairwell, Colicchio & Sons. This may mark our last visit with you guys.
For $165 per person, this meal left me with a hole in my heart and in my pocket.