Last week, we had dinner at Cookshop with Sonya and Seon. I had been wanting to try it for a while now due to the fact that there are many connections between the chefs at Savoy and Cookshop. Like Savoy, Cookshop highlights local, seasonal food, thoughtfully cooked and beautifully plated.
Sonya and I both started with delicious salads. I had purslane, blueberries, toasted hazelnuts, and champagne vinaigrette. The hazelnuts and blueberries went very well with the lemony purslane, and champagne vinegar is my absolute favorite.
As for Sonya’s–dandelion, toasted almonds, sherry vinaigrette, and anchoiade–I’m not a huge fan of dandelion greens, but the almonds were beautifully toasted and the dressing helped cut down on some of the bitterness of the greens.
Seon had white wine-steamed Littleneck clams, house-made pork sausage, cilantro, and lime. The clams were nice, but the flavor of sausage was a bit too strong (even when eating just the clams) for Sonya and me.
Dave ordered a special appetizer with rabbit sausage. Dave said the sausage was, “delicious.” (I’m working on trying to expand Dave’s food-descriptive vocabulary, as you can see, I’m making lots of progress.)
(I apologize in advance that the quality of the photos is about to decline as they dimmed the lights.)
This freebie course came in between our appetizers and main courses. Yes, I let it be known that I was working at Savoy and they treated us very well. This was one of my favorite parts of the meal, the shrimp was succulent and came in a delicious sauce.
For my entree I had the seared Rhode Island squid, cannellini beans, and salsa verde. I also ordered a side of polenta fries and chimichurri. I wasn’t that happy with the squid (which is really an appetizer). I thought that it was way too salty, but the beans were well cooked. The polenta fries were also a disappointment, but Dave liked them. They were too thick, making the ratio of crispy outside to mushy inside quite uneven. The dipping sauce was good, though.
Sonya had Maine dayboat sea scallops, creamy bi-color corn, snap peas, and pickled piopinno mushrooms. I tried a bite of her scallops which were nicely seared, and the crunch of the snap peas was quite pleasing.
Seon had Hudson Valley duck breast, Wehani, Carolina Gold, and wild rice salad, red and black currant compote.
Lastly, Dave ordered Block Island swordfish, cubanelle pepper, cranberry bean, cherry tomato and basil salad, tonnato sauce. Dave liked the taste and texture of his fish but said that his dish “was a bit too overcomplicated for my taste.”
Dessert was the true highlight of the meal. Clockwise from top left: brandied market cherries vanilla ice cream, and pistachios; buttermilk panna cotta market strawberries, black peppermint, and vanilla syrup; blueberry tart yogurt sherbet, peach jam, and market blueberries; Cookshop candy bars Devil’s food cake, gianduja crunch, praline ganache, frozen peanut nougat, and chocolate shell.
Since I let it leak that I was filling in for the pastry chef at Savoy the desserts simply arrived, and the pastry chef came out to talk to us as well. She was very nice, and some of her offerings were truly unique. Namely, the candy bars. Sonya had read about them before coming, and they lived up to their reputation: crispy, goey, cold, scrumptious. My favorite dessert was the blueberry tart, which had some of the lightest pastry crust I’ve had in a while. The other two were good, but I will admit that I’m not a huge fan of panna cotta, though it was well done. Lastly, the brandied cherries were a nice way to round out the offerings.
We were too full to indulge, but during the summer Cookshop has an ice cream stand outside. If you’re in the area (having just walked the High Line, perhaps), you should check it out. The flavor offerings looked awesome.
We left the restaurant stuffed, but happy. Next time I’ll know to just get a salad, and save the rest of the room in my stomach for dessert.