Thanks to the Polar Vortex it has been a bone-chilling winter in New York City, but if you stay inside, you just might miss out on one of New York's top seasonal menus. Maison Kayser has always been a favorite of ours, so when we were invited to try the winter menu, we bundled up and headed over to their Upper East Side location.
When thinking about Maison Kayser, the best bread and pastries immediately come to mind, but now with Chef Olivier Reginensi on board, they are equipped with all of the best skills to provide a complete French meal that dazzles you from the very first bite of bread all the way through to dessert.
Chef Olivier Reginensi, a well-known master in the kitchen (who we were fortunate enough to meet), was classically trained in Provence. Over the years he has worked with several renowned French chefs including Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse. In addition, he served as head chef at Le Cirque. Chef Reginensi shares the same passion and philosophy as Eric Kayser—it all starts with the freshest ingredients and their passion to provide the best dishes to their customers.
Upon entering the restaurant we were overcome with the incredible smell of baked goods and our mouths began to water just thinking about our upcoming dinner. We couldn’t wait to sample the new winter menu.
Our tasting began with a sampling of the latest tartines. The choices were all delectable, but in particular we loved the Croque Monsieur (toasted sourdough with Mornay sauce, topped with smoked ham, and melted gruyere), Poulet & Artichaut (toasted sourdough with a tapenade of artichoke barigoule, roasted chicken breast & aioli Provençal topped with arugula and cherry tomato), Chevre & Figue (toasted sourdough spread with fresh goat cheese and herbs and topped with thin slices of mission figs, chestnut, walnut, granny smith apple and honey drizzle) and our favorite, the Champignons & Panais (toasted sourdough with parsnip puree and a mix of fall mushrooms, topped with shredded gruyere and truffle oil).
Next we tried several main courses including: The Salade de Homard (a half lobster removed from the shell and placed over an avocado puree, served with apple/fennel salad on top and seasoned with lemon and chives), Cocotte d’Agneau a l’Orange & Polenta (lamb marinated in fresh orange juice, braised with white wine and tomato), and the delicious classic Boeuf Bourguignon (beef marinated in Pinot Noir for 48 hours with garlic, oregano, sage and thyme, then slowly braised with yukon gold potatoes, carrots and pearl onions). The menu includes other great choices as well, like salmon and chicken.
Of course we topped off our wonderful evening by sampling several desserts. If you are in an indulgent mood, the cakes are rich, creamy and very tasty. If you just want a bite of something sweet, have a simple financier (or two)—delish!
We always enjoy our selections at Maison Kayser but with the addition of Chef Olivier we have even more reasons to return regularly.
For more information go to www.maison-kayser-usa.com