Gael Greene comes back from Cortons opening night with a wait-and-see attitude. Impressed by petits pains studded with olives and accompanied by seaweed butter, she wonders whether Paul Liebrandt has abandoned his flashiness and found his grace. A Jerusalem artichoke velout with smoked pasta and peeky-toe crab does nothing to shatter that hope despite its dreaded foam. But when the foam appears elsewhere on the $76, three-course prix fixe (there's also a $110 chef's tasting), it doesn't sit as well.
Gael finds the salt-cured squab legs too salty, and their bacon-wrapped rosettes sappy. The scallops on uni cream with radish and Marcona almonds, she says, are fussy. Still, the self-described "Aristotle of taste in food" admits that her friends, for the most part, have been charmed and excited by what they ate. Shed like to see the prices come down, but then she also points to BYOB Mondays where Nieporent hopes to get Liebrandt to serve a simple roast chicken and mashed potatoes. Well see what Gaels more-impressed friends have to say about the place.
Uncorking Corton/Cutting Back [Insatiable Critic]