WINE DINE & FOOTLIGHTS
|More than just a nightclub, 54 Below has put itself on New York’s food map.|
Spring hasn’t exactly sprung in the city yet, but the season has already begun at 54 Below, a supper club in the lower level of what was once Studio 54. I previewed the new menu during ‘Glimpses of Spring’ at the establishment last week, and I can honestly say that this is not just a place to see and hear top Broadway talent (I’m talking the likes of Matthew Morrison, Joanna Gleason, Patti LuPone, and Rita Wilson), but 54 Below has put itself on the food map of New York City.
Executive Chef André Marrero (trained at the French Culinary Institute and formerly of DB Bistro Moderne, Perry Street, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon) cooked with magic in the kitchen, while Tony-award winner Cady Huffman joined in the culinary fun, and Michael Garin serenaded on the piano. The menu included an Amuse Bouche, followed by three courses and dessert. Each plate was paired with wine. Friend and fellow foodie, Heather Moran, joined me for the evening!
Our meal started off with the delectable Spring Pea Shooter with Sesame Cream, paired well with the bubbly L. Aubry Fils: “Aubry de Humbert” 2006. I could have easily eaten an entire bowl of this soup-like shot. But I needed an appetite for what was to follow.
|Spring Pea Shooter|
The first course was Salt Pond Oyster, with Sweet Pea Gelée and Foie Gras. Rich and creamy, this was paired with Bodegas Emilio Lustau: Manzanilla “Papirusa” –– a dry apéritif and unexpected choice, but a terrific pairing for the oysters.
|Salt Pond Oyster|
My second course was the Duck Confit, Frisée Salad, with Hazelnut Grapefruit Brulée, which paired beautifully with Feuillat-Juillot Montagny 1er Cru “Les Coères” 2010. This was a lovely combination and the pink grapefruit tied the entire course together. I loved this dish.
|Duck Confit Frisée Salad|
I opted for the color-filled and tasty Poached Sea Trout, Asparagus and Spring Onion for the third course. The Charles Mauger Meursault, Côte d’Or, 2011 nicely complemented the fish, which was cooked to perfection! The Rack of Lamb Romesco looked equally delicious. There’s always next time.
|Poached Sea Trout|
This tantalizing menu would not have been complete without a decadent dessert. The Passion Fruit Chocolate Éclair with Strawberry Sorbet was just that. Paired well with the Domaine Frédéric Lornet Crémant du Jura “Brut Rosé”–– by far one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. The passion fruit-flavored eclair took the meaning of this classic French pastry to a whole other level. I will compare every eclair in my future to this one.
|Passion Fruit Eclair|
The clock read about 9:15 p.m. and dinner was over. The waitstaff buzzed through the space setting up tables and chairs for the show about to begin at 9:30. Since it was a Tuesday, the bar (adjacent to our table) had some empty seats, and we snatched two. As Broadway fans and show tune music buffs, Heather and I couldn’t leave without hearing a song or two!
Jacob Keith Watson –– the Grand Finalist in the New York Musical Theatre Festival competition “Next Broadway Sensation” and who’s also his Broadway debut this spring in Violet–– opened and was fantastic singing “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls. He warmed up the audience for the dynamic Erica Lustig, the NYMF’s winner, who entertained for the next hour-plus with show-stopping numbers in This is 30. A surprise visit from two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster, who joined Lustig on stage, brought this incredible New York evening to a grand finale.
Bravo 54 Below! Until next time…
|Heather and I during our night of food, wine, and music at 54 Below|
|A buzzing 54 Below –– a fantastic spot for dinner and cabaret.|