NEW YORK, NY
It is hidden in a non-descript part of Tribeca. Upon entering you will find the pleasant hostesses welcoming you in as though you are an old friend visiting after a long time apart. The feel of the space can be described as elevated chic with tones of black, white and cream flowing throughout the restaurant. I am at my usual spot at the bar with beautiful marble for my eyes to take in.
The menu changes frequently so the charcoal grilled wagyu that I had the last time I was here was no longer on the menu. I posted this and other dishes from my initial visit on Instagram so you can take a look there (@nycfoodieadventures).
The amuse bouche was a tomato sorbet with lemon verbena oil. The sorbet was deep rich and intense in flavor all that combined with the light lemon oil comes alive on the palate. Even after finishing the sorbet, the powerful flavor of tomato remained in the oil as if there had been an additional fusion during preparation. What an incredible start to the meal.
Next was my very lovely bread with seaweed butter. There were two types provided – whole wheat and a baguette – and both were warm to touch. Of course you know that this means I will instantly fall in love. Is there anything more satisfying than bread and butter. On flavor, it is unholy how divine this butter is and it goes without saying that it went fantastically with both bread options.
My first dish was the seasonal salad with mushrooms, crispy sunchoke and yuzu dressing. I normally hate sunchoke with a passion but this preparation was special. Throughout consuming this salad, I felt like I was being bad eating a bag of potato chips… or at least how I am told I am to feel being as that I do not eat potato chips. On mushrooms, there are different varietals and cut sizes from precision thin shavings of trumpet to thick marinated cuts of others and a MASSIVE delectable oyster mushroom. The entire salad is very crisp where it should be and refreshing at the same time. The normal bite of yuzu is calmed down by the creamy and full fat dressing that accompanied the salad. There is so much to love with this dish. I should mention also that this is a sizeable salad portion for a tasting menu.
Next up was the langoustine with crispy kataifi. Like every normal human being, I do not always know every ingredient on the menu but I do ensure that I find out after enjoying it. Enter kataifi. When I looked it up, this is something that is generally used in sweet desserts like baklava so I was definitely curious how they had infused it into savory. What this ingredient brings to the dish is texture as the langoustine is alive, well and bold in flavor against the mild sweetness of the kataifi. There was also a little potato hanging around on the plate that tasted exquisite against the madras curry sauce. I truly loved the simplicity of this dish.
It is truffle season so of course they had a tagliatelle with white truffle. Upon eating it, I had to say a quick prayer and apology to the Modern… You are in fact no longer the winner this season on truffle pasta. L’abeille has destroyed you on the truffle pasta battlefield. Wow! This is just clean, rich and creamy in all its simplicity. The pasta is cooked to perfection just slightly softer than Al dente. I notice the little things like they gave me a fork and spoon for me to eat my pasta. I do infact get infuriated when I have to ask for a spoon. The beauty of their pasta is that the flavor just builds and builds endlessly without giving you a moment of respite from its absolute delightful essence. Words cannot explain this so I’ll just say come in and have it while you can.
Next was the duck breast with duck leg confit. This was cooked to perfect pink with a glaze that is calling out to me quite loudly I might say. The knife cuts through the breast like butter and every chew explodes rich jus flavor that is all enveloping on the palate. I had this paired with a burgundy Pinot and it enhanced the understated earthy flavor of the wine. What a magnificent pairing.
Finally, it was time for dessert and for that I was presented with white chocolate with honey blossom and ice cream. There’s a lot going on here but it is all good. There are varying degrees of sweetness that are amazing to taste individually and which form a cohesive bond of flavors that are beyond enjoyable. You all know that I do not have a sweet tooth by now but I could have this every night without feeling a moment of guilt… absolutely fabulous. A tiny thing that I did not notice initially were the two edible flowers that were on the plate. This brought a smile to my face as it reminded me of a dear friend who lives and breathes the world of flowers.
And as we can never leave a tasting menu without petit fours or in this case petit deux… see what I did there? The chocolate with what I think is nugget was truly special to me but both pieces were magnificent nonetheless.
So this is the end of my second dining adventure to L’abeille and it will most certainly not be the last. I am quite excited that their menu changes often so I can’t wait to be back to enjoy their new creations. As always thank you for reading and give them a visit.
Till next time… adieu!