Talk about a marriage made in heaven. The Foie Gras Dacquoise at Rotisserie Georgette in New York City was created when Café Boulud pastry chef Ashley Brauze brought one of her ethereal dacquoise creations home from work to her husband, Chad, head chef at the new and noteworthy Rotisserie Georgette.
“I can do that,” was Chad’s reaction to his wife’s delicious dessert. “She lectured me on the technique, gave me the ratios for the dacquoise and the gelée, and I took it from there,” said the 35-year-old Chad who met his wife when they both worked at Restaurant Daniel.
The result is an appetizer that impresses with its good looks, sumptuous texture, and close-your-eyes-and-swoon flavors.
Brauze (Chad, that is) started with the “pastry” layer, making a classic dacquoise with egg whites and crushed pistachios instead of the traditional almond flour. Next, he seasoned the liver lobe with salt, white pepper, sugar and a splash of Sauterne, rolled it into a torchon and confit’d (basically, slowly poached) it in foie gras fat.
After passing it through a fine sieve to smooth the texture, he assembled it in a pastry frame, just as Ashley assembles all her marjolaine and dacquoise confections. For the crowning gelée layer, Brauze used the cooking liquid from poached rhubarb, using just enough gelatin to set it. Candied pistachios, rhubarb chutney and crisp toasts made a great dish even greater.
As wonderful as the foie gras is, the real star of the show at Rotisserie Georgette is rotisserie chicken, dozens of them glistening and twirling away in the back of the restaurant on two impressive contraptions imported from France. The birds come from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, chosen, according to Ms. G, for the quality of their skin and very moist flesh. They’re dry-brined with herbs de Provence and roasted over open flame. They are simple, and simply delicious.
Side dishes – such as warm baby beets with red onion vinaigrette and blue cheese --- are also simple and satisfying. In addition, there are many ways to kick off the feast --- a yummy Salade G (above in photo by the New York Times), rillettes, pate, mussels, smoked salmon --- but to miss the heavenly concoction that prompted this paean would be crazy.
The 9-month-old Rotisserie G is the life-long dream of Georgette Farkas, a woman about whom restaurant critic John Mariani said: “In the backbiting NYC restaurant world, I doubt there is anyone who enjoys a higher likeability rating than Georgette Farkas.” (Photo by MeetUp.com.)
I count myself one of Farkas’ fans, having worked with her for more than 15 years when I was Food Editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune and she was communications director for super-chef Daniel Boulud. The high-energy Farkas, who started cooking professionally when she was a teenager, now brings her well-known attention to detail, diplomacy and sophistication to bear on her first restaurant.
Rotisserie Georgette, with its Old World charm, new-world comfort and refreshingly uncomplicated food, is at 14 East 60th Street, just off Central Park. It’s open every day except Sunday.