A Commander's Performance
Every now and then you have to be a tourist in your own city, and we chose the second to last night of Hanukkah to make that option come true. Booked a year in advance, because we apparently have no clout to pull strings or perhaps they are just THAT busy, we booked the chef's table at that uptown peacock blue palace known as Commander's. Every local knows the history of this multiple James Beard winning restaurant and how the grand empress Ella Brennan created one of the most spectacular establishments in the world. Yes we have eaten here a number of times but never treated ourselves to the indulgent chef's table because, for need of a better word, I am conservative.
The table is located in the kitchen, and you have probably seen four people sitting there as you walked to the main bar area. Never really understood what happened with that table and always thought how goofy folks were that sat in the kitchen. Well now we know since we are part of that goofiness, and chef Tory McPhail made us feel quite special as he reviewed the menu options...which were anything you wanted....and even served dinner with his team. The courses are numerous and are paired appropriately with wine choices selected by our captain whose name was Argyle...yes, just like the socks. We began with warm up cocktails including the Ramos Gin Fizz and Sazeracs and even had a shot of the Commander's lavender and lemongrass infused vodka that is now a staple on the menu. My favorite course was a childhood memory known as crab meat imperial which our sous chef Devon created as we watched, and she nailed the flavors and the presentation.
Of course dessert could not be more wonderful because you had your choice of EVERYTHING on the menu, and since we cannot keep a secret, some at our table ate it all. Chef's hats off to the Brennan family for making our Palace experience a memorable one for the holidays.
1403 Washington Avenue