As you know…or not know…recently I had myself a birthday and was treated to some fine eating in the last couple of weeks. I started it all off with a nice little lunch at The Oak Cafe on Friday the 8th. The featured chef was Eric Ripert, one of the undisputed kings of fine dining in New York City.
You know Eric Ripert, right? The silver fox of Le Bernadin?
He also has a TV show on PBS that’s worth watching called Avec Eric. If you want to know more, you can read the handy bio provided by the school. See? You go to eat, you end up learning something. It’s educational.
Check him out in action!
Here’s the printed menu for the day. It was a tasting menu, which I love. It’s too hard to make choices sometimes–just bring it on! Click it to enlarge.
First course: Roasted Marin Miyagi oysters. I don’t know if they were actually roasted, but the butter sauce they were swimming in was mighty good.
Second course: Mussels, clams and chorizo in broth. This dish had all the components to knock my socks off, but lacked seasoning and heat–both spicy heat and just plain old heat. It was served to me lukewarm.
Up third was black pepper and cognac shrimp. Fresh chervil on top. Very good. And beautifully presented.
Fourth Course: Sea bass in a bouillabaisse consomme with roasted tomato ravioli. Again a bit lukewarm, but tasty nonetheless. The ravioli was stunning and the line-caught fish was cooked perfectly. I think Chef Ripert would be proud of these students.
Here’s a nice surprise! For dessert: Fennel scented panna cotta with poached pears on top. Where the other dishes weren’t hot enough, this panna cotta wasn’t quite cold enough–but the flavor? Out of the park.
I can’t say it enough–get out there and have lunch. It’s the best deal in town, you’re supporting future chefs and also helping ARC’s culinary program in building new classrooms and cooking areas for students to come!
4700 College Oak Blvd, Room 506
Parking is available in Parking Lot D for $1