The Bird is the Word

May 20, 2016

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Preserved egg yolks may be the new Parmesan. This is the presentation at  Blue Hill at Stone Barns. While most restaurants don’t offer you choices ranging from duck egg yolks to unborn chicken eggs or a chile-preserved sort, many seem to be preserving egg yolks and grating them over various dishes.  It’s part of the big chicken revival sweeping the city.  Chicken, in many guises, is New York’s trend of the moment. (Consider, for example, the chickens at Lowlife and Le Turtle. Not to mention Le Coq Rico, the totally chicken-centric restaurant, which I wrote about here.)

While exploring chicken mania, I went back to my favorite ramen place, Toto Ramen, to see if I still think their chicken-based broth is the best.  And yes, I’m still in love with the deep, rich but clean flavor of this satisfying bowl.  Worth the wait.

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Rambling around the city, munching on birds, I stopped in at Decoy to try the Peking Duck.  Oh my!  This is wonderful duck – the skin flaking off in crisply satisfying sheets, the flesh luxuriant, tender. The accompanying pancakes are warm floppy little disks, lightly freckled from the pan, a perfect foil for the opulence of the bird. There are scallions, of course, hoisin and cucumbers too. If you like duck, you’ll love this one.

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And while we’re talking about Stone Barns, here are a few highlights from that most wonderful meal, including the single most persuasive argument for kohlrabi I’ve ever encountered.  An infant creature, refreshing in all its crunchy glory, was served with an oniony puree of vegetable and a single dollop of jam.

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Just-picked asparagus seemed intent on shaming those imported imposters that lack all flavor.

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And the most gloriously beautiful edible bouquet:

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