What do you get when you combine modern American cuisine with an award winning Iron Chef? The National
. That’s right people, we have the next Iron Chef cooking up some amazing food only 2 avenues from my apartment (Benjamin Hotel). Que fabuloso!!
The National’s Chef Geoffrey Zakarian
, @gzchef, recently won the Next Iron Chef, wearing Hello Kitty band-aids I might add (how chic – loves it). Actually, according to Twitter, his daughter gave them to him as good luck.
I’ve been here twice and although I have heard mixed reviews, I must say that I pleasantly & thoroughly enjoyed both visits.
Our eats included:
Steak Tartar: Hand cut filet mignon, pickled hon shemiji (no clue), cherry peppers, mustard and kecap manis (gluten-free sans kecap manis): This basically tasted like a deconstructed burger and it was great!! Perfection for a GF mess like myself that can’t even eat a bun. However! I did find out what kecap manis was before I ate it:
Today’s vocab lesson: Kecap Manis
: Sweet soy sauce, which has a thick, almost syrupy consistency and a pronounced sweet, treacle-like flavor due to generous addition of palm sugar
In conclusion, if you know anything about gluten, you know soy sauce is a no-no. So ask for it sans kecap manis and sound really smart in doing so.
Ugly Burger: Pickled Jalapeno, NTLSauce, House Pickles, Lettuce (gluten-free sans bun): My friend ordered this and let me tell you, coming from someone who salivates at the sight of a juicy burger & bun which she cannot eat, this thing did not look so ugly to me. As a matter of fact it looked gorgeous.
Grilled Banzino w. cauliflower, grapes, endive & lemon gastrique (gluten-free): I loved the grapes in there, throwing in a sweet touch. Awesome.
drumroll please….Brussels Sprouts w. mustard & creme fraiche (gluten-free): I know I have claimed to have found the best brussels spouts in the past (Alta), but these just stole the throne. Hot damn these things were delicious. I can’t even begin to describe. If you find the recipe, please let me know asap.
Cream Cheese Gelato w/ Berries
: No, I did not order the above. Yes, I included the picture because it is beautiful. I saw cream cheese gelato listed on one of the desserts
and immediately thought, wow that sounds ridiculous. I used my Celiac to my advantage and was able to swing some berries in that bitch and it was a perfect ending to my meal.
Pros: Chef Zakarian keeps it simple, but oh so delicious. And he wears Hello Kitty band-aids = badass.
Cons: Weekdays can have that Wall St after work blegh vibe. If you are a cougar on the prowl you may have hit the jackpot.
The National: 577 Lexington Ave. NY NY 10022 USA (212) 715-2400