I took my wife to Gem to celebrate our 9yr anniversary. Gem is home to the young rising star fine dining chef Flynn McGarry. He’s only 19yrs old, which means The Cake Dealer and I have been married for nearly half of his life!
Anyway, the meal was a set price tasting menu, which ran about $330 (tax and tip included, but before drinks, which was an additional $78 for three each). Here’s how it went down:
Everyone at the 6pm seating was given a glass of champagne upon entering, which I thought was cool. My wife and I opted out of the $100 drink pairing and decided to try three cocktails throughout the meal instead. They don’t have high proof liquor yet, but they do a good job making cocktails with wine, champagne and liqueurs. I think they also serve beer as well.
Drink 1: Cynar, sweet vermouth, champagne.
Course 1: Local Shellfish/Seafood
This array of beautiful plates consisted of the folowing:
Nori crisp with clam, fava bean and preserved citrus.
This was my first bite. It had a nice fresh, briny sea flavor and qas a good way to wake up the taste buds.
Surf clam with grilled blueberries and rose.
Nice contrast of sweet and savory here. Tasty broth in the shell as well.
Caviar with sorrel dressing and green almond.
A really flavorful and herbacious spoonful of joy.
Scallop with grilled cucumber and salted plum.
This was the star of the course. Really nicely balanced and incredibly flavorful.
Course 2: Smoked Cod with Apple, Caraway and Horseradish
This was probably my favorite dish of the meal. The broth was awesome, and the contrast between sweet/tart apple and smoky/savory fish was perfectly executed.
Course 3: Grilled Asparagus Chawanmushi with Ham and Dried Fruits
This consisted of both shaved and cooked asparagus, an asparagus custard, ham broth, and what we guessed were figs and cherries. Very nice. I think this was my wife’s favorite dish.
Course 4: Grilled Squid with Morels, Blackberry, and Hazelnut Mole
This was both beautiful and delicious. I really loved the flavor combination with the hazelnut.
Drink 2: Cynar, sweet vermouth, sherry.
Course 5: Ramp and Calabrian Chili Lasagna
This was a perfect dish. I could eat an entire sheet pan of this shit. It has a light spice from the chilies, a great freshness from the ramps, and a good crisp texture from the baking process. The delicate use of cheese, pinenuts and a pesto based sauce made this really unique.
Course 6: Cabbage with Foie Gras and Chicken Vadouvan
I loved this course as well. I only wish there was more actual foie gras meat. But the cabbage was served two ways: crisped and cooked with a sort of chicken broth reduction. The rich foie fattiness and savory flavors were abundant in this dish. Excellent.
Course 7: Aged Beet, Creamed Beet Greens and Beet Bordelaise
This was a vegetarian play on steakhouse cuisine. The beet was dry aged, smoked, and seared. When it first came out I thought it was venison. The flavor was deep and hearty from the prep and cooking process, but it still held true to beet flavor. The best part was the creamed beet greens. A near exact replication of good creamed spinach. The bordelaise was a bit heavy handed. Half of that amount would have been fine.
Course 8: Pork Feast
This course consisted of the following dishes:
Pork neck with a sauce made from snails, mustard seed and smoked maple.
I liked this, especially when dragging the pork through as much sauce as possible. Perfectly cooked, and a rare cut of pork that you hardly ever see being utilized in fine dining.
Pork and chive sausage with broccoli.
This was delicious. The sausage meat was formed around a shaved stalk of broccoli before being cooked. It reminded me of some shrimp paste sausage items you sometimes see in asian cuisines.
Roasted sweet potato logs with black sesame.
These were a bit sweet, so I recommend eating them last even though our waitress said that there was no particular order to this course.
Pulled pork lettuce wraps.
The fresh herbs combined with the sweet meat made me think of asian cuisine here as well.
Drink 3: Rhubarb cooking liquids, St. Germain and champagne. Sorry, no pic. It was pink, bubbly and in a champagne glass.
Dessert: Rhubarb and Green Strawberry Galette, with Olive Oil and Thyme Mascarpone, and Vanilla Ice Cream with Blueberry Compote
The ice cream and mascarpone were meant as toppings.
This course really stole the show, and it finished the meal with a bang. We both loved it. The tart was so light and flakey, and all the flavors really paired well together.
That does it. Great spot for a date! Tip is included in the pricing here, and you pay in advance when you make a reservation. So you should only expect to pay up for drinks.
116 Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002