Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't pass on Sel et Poivre

We were invited to make our first non-museum journey to the Upper East Side to try Sel et Poivre's Tasting Menu. This delightful little bistro has been around for 22 years, so they are obviously doing something very right. It was originally run by a mother and daughter team, but when mom chose to retire, her son-in-law stepped in. It is now run by the husband and wife team of Christian & Pamela Schienle.

Christian was on duty during our visit and was warm and welcoming; he obviously loves what he does and takes time to greet his diverse group of customers. This charming bistro elegantly supported diners in bow ties and cocktail dresses, as well as patrons in more casual attire, with neither seeming out of place.

Now let's get to the food:

Bread Basket (with adorable handle!)
Fresh bread that made a satisfying crunching sound when touched, yet had a soft interior.

Fish Soup

Cheese, Toasts, & Saffron Sauce (accompanies soup)
Traditional fish soup that you can flavor and texture as you wish with the accoutrements.

Celery root remoulade with red beets
Surprisingly curry twist to the remoulade which gave this dish a delightful twist.

Skate Fish with lemon & capers with basmati rice
This is the dish I will be coming back for. I'm literally salivating just looking at the picture. The skate fish was melt in your mouth tender and perfectly balanced with the lemon sauce, large capers, and rice.

Calves liver a la Lyonnais with mashed potatoes and broccoli
We were both nervous about seeing calves liver on the menu as this would be our first experience with non-poultry liver. We were both initially turned off by the taste, but I found that I could find a really nice mix of the sauce, onions, and potatoes which complimented it well. Still can't say I'm sold on calf liver, but if you are looking to try it, I would start here.

Steak au poivre with fries and sauce

Knowing we were a bit nervous about the calves liver, Christian graciously brought us a backup entree. No hesitation here, excellent.

Terrine de chocolate with raspberry coulis
What a nice light way to end an amazing meal. Intense and rich chocolate flavor without making us uncomfortably full.

The final thing I have to mention is Christian's passion for wine. Each course was paired by a glass of wine even more delicious than the last and each perfectly complemented the dish. We were really impressed by the collection.

Sel Et Poivre on Urbanspoon

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