Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
SADLY, ÉLAN IS NOW CLOSED.
The word élan means elegance or flair in French. It’s also the name of a new restaurant in Manhattan that exhibits both of those qualities. The restaurant marks the stylish return of a classic New York City chef, David Waltuck. When his critically acclaimed French restaurant Chanterelle closed in 2009, the city lost one of its greats (it had been open for a whopping 30 years!) But now he’s brought a bit of élan back to the city.
This new restaurant opened in the old Veritas space earlier this year to mix reviews. I was lucky enough to have lunch at Chanterelle before it closed (I remember being blown away), so I was beyond the moon to taste his seafood sausage again. It’s still a classic dish with rich bites of seafood in a natural casing floating above a decadent beurre blanc sauce. Truly spectacular.
But even more surprising was the brand new sea urchin guacamole. This is something fresh and shows that Waltuck is now experimenting with Asian and Mexican notes in his French food. In less capable hands, this would have been a gimmicky mash-up that is more provocative than delicious. Here, it all comes together.
The luxurious briny sea urchin fits right in with the creamy avocado and balances the sweet heat from wasabi. And then those impeccably light taro chips provided a perfect vessel to sop up every last scoop.
Chef Waltuck is back and we should give him a big welcome with lots of élan.
|43 East 20th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway),