Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
Going into the James Beard nominated Bâtard, there were two dishes I knew I had to get. This fancy (but approachable) new restaurant in the old Corton space in Tribeca has gotten rave reviews across the board. And the two dishes everybody talks about are the octopus “pastrami” and the caramelized milk bread dessert.
We tried both, among some other delicate dishes, in our $69 3-course meal (a bargain in the overly expensive New York fine dining scene). The food was all very refined and technical, but nothing really wowed me. Not even that rather bland octopus pastrami which was a chewy terrine dotted with ingredients that hinted at pastrami (rye croutons, mustard, spices).
Although everything changed when we got to dessert. I’m not generally a fan of bread desserts. They’re usually too dry and carby for me. I like ice cream and mousses. Or chocolate and caramel. This came out looking like broken french toast. I wasn’t interested in breakfast. But this was absolutely spectacular.
The caramelized milk bread is indeed the lovechild of French toast and creme brulée. Breaking its sugary shell leads to a confundingly moist bite of sweet brioche bread. On the plate is some brown butter ice cream which enhances and softens the bread and it’s all brightened up by a sweet and tart blueberry sauce.
Do indeed put this dish on your must list. It’s not something I would have ordered on my own (without all the reviews pushing me toward it), but I assure you it’s worth the price of admission.
|239 West Broadway (between White and Walker Street),