City Grit is the brainchild of Sarah Simmons from Food & Wine. She calls it a Culinary Salon because she cooks there but also has guest chefs – some quite famous, some emerging – that come for a week to cook a new menu they are working on or feature selections from their book or TV Show. This salon is located in an elementary school…..bringing back memories when you take a trip to the bathroom.
Friday night Paul Qui cooked up a flavor feast for me and 69 other people. For $90 we enjoyed a 7 course pre-fixe meal. Only one of the courses required alteration for this feast because he used beer and miso in a sauce. Otherwise it was completely gluten free.
The first course was Tuna Jamon a play on melon wrapped in prosciutto. The smoked tuna wrapped in lardo was excellent!
Our dinner was rounded out by the rest of the courses including smoked trout, quail, pork jowl and a delicious desert featuring rice milk pudding with coconut and peaches.
I loved basking in the energy of a creative way to introduce chefs and their work to New Yorkers. To me its a great testament to the food culture in New York City. What Simmons has created is a serious place to have culinary fun.
My advice: check it out in the fall. Its HOT in there. They haven’t figured out how to cool the place down to a reasonable level. I am not someone who likes the AC blaring but it was too hot for me. The chairs are not so comfortable. You do feel the “grit” of the experience…but its worth it.
I didn’t talk much about Paul Qui because, well, that’s not really the point of city grit. The point is an opportunity for you to enjoy your favorite author or chef. For more about Qui, foodnarative.com did an awesome video located here: http://vimeo.com/46730838
I hope you do.