[Pigging by Wilfrid: March 6, 2017]
A return bout with Le Coq Rico recently, the really very good, professional, friendly, useful restaurant opened early last year by Antoine Westermann--someone to whom the sobriquet "top tocque" might actually be well applied.
Michelin-starred in France, Westermann gave New York a bustling, versatile, essentially casual restaurant (he calls it a bistro), with fine cooking and--for the most part--cracking correct service.
Despite the bitter cold night, I can rarely resist sunchokes. The sunchoke salad à la Barigoule represented a mode of accommodation usually seen with artichokes--a lemon juice and oil dressing, essentially. It also featured some gizzards, of which there must be many lying about the kitchen.
Thomas Farm squab pie, says the menu, but there was an immediate thrill of recognition with the entrée. People will talk about Gabriel Kreuther's famous squab croustillant from The Modern: squab in brik pastry with cabbage and foie gras. Of course, Kreuther actually produced that dish at Atelier, where cooked stunningly before entering the Meyer empire.
At Le Coq Rico, the pastry is perhaps a little less flaky, and there's no foie: but the cabbage-encased squab is excellent, and there's a tender squab leg lurking the background. It's a classy dish for a bistro.
I had no room for dessert, and didn't stick a spoon into my host's. One has some manners.