Gabriel Kreuther: A Blend of Art and Expertise
Hello and welcome back to Ngo Your Meal! Today, I'm looking forward to sharing our experience at Gabriel Kreuther, an elegant, fine dining establishment in Midtown, New York City. Gabriel Kreuther is named after its chef and owner, who has an incredible resume of culinary expertise, including working experience at the Modern, Atelier in the Ritz-Carlton, and Jean-Georges in addition to the numerous Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Germany and France.
Before our visit, I saw that Eater described it as being reminiscent of pre-crash Manhattan, which seems to be a very accurate representation of this restaurant. Situated next to Bryant Park, this location commands respect and radiates with an aura of lavishness.
The restaurant space is spacious and grand. Tables are spread out way too far apart (in a good way), which makes me wonder if the boundaries of New York City real estate even apply here. Imagine white table cloths, majestic floral arrangements, and even a little leather pad for your utensils.
Anyway, let's start talking about the food. The standard menu is a four course prix fixe (three savory dishes and a dessert) for $155. You get to pick all four courses. There are various supplements that typically include caviar, truffles, or even a special dish (you'll see an example in a bit). There is even a carte blanche for $235, which is a more intense tasting menu where the chef gets to pick what to serve you (think omakase).
PRO TIP: Reserve a kitchen table for a legit experience. We didn't do this for our visit but the reviews say it's a lot of fun.
Overall, I'd definitely go back to Gabriel Kreuther. It's a good price and you'll be very satisfied with the amount and quality of food you get. I'll be back soon!
Address: 41 W 42nd St., New York, NY 10036
Savory Scallion Kougelhopf with Chive Fromage Blanc
Wholegrain Ficelle with Cultured Butter from Montreal
Rosemary Buckwheat Rolls with Whipped Lardo
Braised Pork Shoulder Salad with Horseradish Cream
Lamb Sausage Wrapped in Puff Pastry with Pickled Granny Smith Apple
White Truffle Shaved Over Spaetzle with Slow Poached Farm Egg and Parmesan Breadcrumb
Yukon Potato-Rosemary Soup
Hamachi, Black Truffle, and Foie Gras Mille-Feuille
Sturgeon and Sauerkraut Tart
Berkshire Pork Tenderloin
Nova Scotia Halibut
Ambrosial Mango Almond Dessert
Comfort Caramel Pear Dessert
Cidrerie du Vulcain Dry, Apple Cider "Premiers Émois", Switzerland
As Steph and I walked in, we were welcomed by a friendly hostess who guided us to the bar as they prepared our table. I actually kind of liked that because it allowed us to settle in, take off our coats, and have a quick aperitif before starting our meal. We opted for a Cidrerie du Vulcain Dry Apple Cider from Switzerland (see above). Nice.
Here's a little preview of some of the amuse bouche (above and below). The pigs-in-a-blanket-like amuse is a Lamb Sausage wrapped in Puff Pastry with Pickled Granny Smith Apple. Delightful.
Next, the one in a shot glass is a Braised Pork Shoulder Salad with Horseradish Cream. I liked this one a bit more because it was light but rich in flavor.
Above, you'll see the American Red Snapper Taco with Avocado. As you can see, it's tiny. It's about the width of a lime. What is this? A taco for ants?! Anyway, this one was real nice. I wish I could have 49 more of these.
In the back, you'll see a tiny cube of Mezcal Margarita Jelly. It's like a fancy jello-shot. Mezcal is a distilled alcohol made with the agave plant. It's earthy, vegetal, and smoky. Swap tequila out for mezcal next time you take shots.
Above, you'll see two pieces of Rosemary Buckwheat Rolls. These were seriously addicting. I have true appreciation for restaurants that keep their bread warm and fresh. It's a small attention point but it makes all the difference.
These rolls were accompanied by some Whipped Lardo. I asked for a second serving of these rolls so that I could finish the rest of that fat butter. The restaurant staff provided us with a second serving without a second thought. Thank you.
For this review, I'll alternate between Steph's dishes and my dishes as we go through the four courses. First, Steph got the Langoustine Tartare (see above). The crispy layer on top is a cayenne tuile, or is a baked wafer that is often used as an accoutrement for French dishes. In this case, it's made with cayenne peppers so the whole dish had a perfect balance between the silky, creamy meat of the langoustine, the spicy crisp of the tuile, and the subtle nuttiness of the macadamia purée.
The Langoustine Tartare also came with a Langoustine Panna Cotta with Red Tobiko and Macadamia (see above). It was presented in what looked like a half-open test of a sea urchin. Very cool.
For my first course, I got the Hamachi (yellowtail), Black Truffle, and Foie Gras Mille-Feuille (see above).
I love hamachi and I love foie gras so I couldn't say no to this one. I was curious to see how some of my favorite things would taste together. As it arrived, we were in awe at the way that it was presented. Steph and I exchanged our "oohs" and "aahs" before I started to dig into this delicately compressed work of art. The hamachi and foie gras were layered one after another, which allowed me to curate exactly how much foie gras I wanted in each bite of hamachi. I loved it!
The whole thing was a rich and fatty flavor bomb but it had that clean, refreshing feeling from the hamachi. This savory mille-feuille was accompanied by some celery root, fresh grape, and a sherry hazelnut vinaigrette.
For our next bread, we had a Scallion Kougelhopf. A Kougelhopf is a light, marble cake. It's usually baked in a Bundt mold that gives it its ring-like shape. The Bundt mold looks like a dome with a hole in the middle. Kougelhopfs are popular in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland.
The main difference between Gabriel Kreuther's Kougelhopfs and other Kougelhopfs is that normal Kougelhopfs are usually sweet. Gabriel Kreuther's version is savory. This bread came with a Chive Fromage Blanc. This was unreal. I'm sorry but I asked for a second serving of this bread too. Do you sell this separately? Can I order one to go?
The bread itself was fluffy and slightly crumbly but moist enough that it wouldn't just fall apart. This was my first time having a bread like this. I fell in love instantly.
For Steph's second course, she got the Yukon Potato-Rosemary Soup (see above). When it arrived, I knew I picked the right girlfriend because this girl knows how to order. I could smell this dish and all its greatness from across the table.
The soup came with grilled blue shrimp, trout roe, and trumpet royale mushrooms. These are actually my favorite mushrooms. They're firm, juicy, and slightly nutty. Amazing.
On the side, she got the fried body of the blue shrimp with sudachi cream (see above). I almost fainted. This is quite the dish and I wish I had gotten it for myself. Steph was kind to share some of it with me.
If you haven't had fried shrimp/prawn body before, I highly recommend it. It sounds weird but it's life changing. It's crispy, sinful, and has the perfect amount of brininess.
For my second course, I got the Sturgeon and Sauerkraut Tart. This is one of Gabriel Kreuther's specialties. The force is strong in this one. Upon arriving, you'll be hit in the face by its alluring applewood smoke. It's all part of the experience.
Anyway, sturgeon is usually not very nice to eat. It's a bit too fishy sometimes but Gabriel Kreuther's sturgeon was delicious. It was firm and mild in flavor. It went very well with the sauerkraut. On top, there was a dollop of caviar and a generous serving of mousseline, a classic French sauce that is made by adding whipped cream or egg whites to Hollandaise sauce. This makes the sauce more light, rich, and fluffy.
During our visit, there was one special dish that Steph and I opted to share in addition to our 4-course tasting meal. It was a Spaetzle with White Truffles, a Slow Poached Farm Egg, and Parmesan Breadcrumbs. With a description like that, how could we say no? Steph and I were just going to share from the same plate but they actually split up the dish into two servings for us. Both plates got a VERY generous serving of white truffle (see above).
By the way, a spaetzle is a type of soft egg noodle that is common to German, Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary. Visually, it looks like the love child between trofie and gnocchi pasta.
The bread that you see above is a Wholegrain Ficelle. It looks a lot like a baguette but it's much thinner. It's hard to tell from the photo but it's very thin. Gabriel Kreuther's ficelle had the perfect amount of crisp without it being dry.
The ficelle came with Cultured Butter. This is different from regular butter because it is butter that has been exposed to live cultures (bacteria). This allows the butter to get a bit more aromatic and tangier in flavor.
Next, Steph got the Nova Scotia Halibut (see above). This one tasted unbelievable. I honestly have nothing else to say about this one. The fish came with a Celery Root Puree, Hen of the Woods Mushroom, and Grated Bottarga.
FUN FACT: Hen of the woods is another name for the Maitake mushroom.
For myself, I chose the Berkshire Pork Tenderloin. This one was so rich that I almost had a hard time finishing it especially with all the bread we had consumed. The pork came with Pickled Mustard Seeds, Kumquat, and Housemade Morcilla (blood sausage). The blood sausage was soft and fresh. The pork was tender and cooked throughout despite it being such a thick cut.
Additionally, there was a little surprise hidden in the back. If you can spot the red cabbage, there's actually some pork cheek in there that had been braised in beer. That was delicious. I had it in one bite and it blew my mind.
At this point, Steph and I were so full that we were ready for our last course: the dessert. We were also one of the last tables still eating given that it was almost close to 10pm. To our surprise, there was a pre-dessert sorbet, which gave us a good giggle. More food?! We'll take it!
For dessert, Steph got the "Ambrosial". It was a Mango Almond dessert with sablé breton, lime-vanilla sorbet, mango con chile gelée. The sablé breton are those two rectangular cookies that are sandwiching the lime-vanilla sorbet. These are delicate and flaky. Even though they fall apart easily, I kind of love the mess. It helps me control my absurdly quick pace of eating. Sablé breton is high in butter and/or egg yolk.
My dessert was the "Comfort", which came with two crescent-shaped gingersnap tuiles that were given dimension by balancing on caramel-pear crémeux. At the center, there was a quenelle of pear sorbet.
Despite the name, this dessert was a great example of the overindulgence that you can expect here. Its even got flakes of gold because why not? The "Comfort" seems to be the most appropriate answer to "treat yo self".
And, of course, we must end with some petit fours. These bite-sized confections are like "just in case" desserts just in case your sweet tooth isn't 100% satisfied.