My first foray into the world of chef and restaurateur Daniel Humm was about three years ago when my sister and I were in the throes of planning her wedding. She wanted something very small with immediate family and really good food. We had dinner at Eleven Madison Park to try it out and had one of the most decadent meals with impeccable service that I have ever had. My sister and her husband did end up celebrating their marriage in a private room there overlooking the art deco dining room. I haven't been back since the night of their wedding but a couple of weekends ago, I had the chance to have dinner at the NoMad, Daniel Humm's latest venture.
We arrived at the restaurant a bit early for a pre-dinner cocktail in the restaurant's dimly lit mahogany bar where a proper cocktail was most certainly in order. This is one of those bars where cocktail making is a true craft so order off of their creative cocktail menu or tell one of the bartenders what you like and let them surprise you. The bartender made me a last word which consists of gin, green chartreuse and lemon juice.
My friend Missy Jane had an old cuban which is rum, bitters, lime juice and mint. Isn't it gorgeous?
We started off with some light snacks of crudite and butter covered radishes wtih fleur de sel while we perused the menu. Plus they brought us a loaf of piping hot bread with zucchini and rosemary, super crusty on the outside and soft on the inside so good that we ate it down quickly and asked for more.
At the recommendation of the waiter my sister started with the poached egg with asparagus and quinoa. The egg was perfectly runny and the quinoa gave it a little crispy texture that was unexpected.
We shared an order of super lemony homemade pasta with chives and lobster. I loved the full lemon flavor in this dish with the hint of mild onion from the chives.
The four of us shared the whole roasted chicken that is meant for two people. This chicken is like none I've ever had with its crispy skin and layers of foie gras, black truffle and brioche under the skin. It was quite rich and while I loved it, splitting it with one other person would be too much for me but among four of us was perfect.
We ended the night with a couple of desserts; lemon custard with almond shortbread and ricotta and chocolate tart with caramel and fleur de sel. I thought the chocolate with salty caramel would be my favorite and it was delicious but it turns out the concentrated lemon flavor with just a bit of pucker in the custard was even better. And I can't finish telling you about this evening without mentioning the perfectly choreographed service that was professional and friendly without being overly familiar. I'll definitely be back to the NoMad for another meal soon.