Even though the restaurant is named for a famous appellation in Burgundy, I was most interested in the food at Corton. Paul Liebrandt , the executive chef, is one of the most skilled cooks in NYC. I was blown away by the foie gras dish he prepared at the La Paulee last March and was eager to taste his menu at Corton. Several starters arrived at the table and, although small, they were intense. That would be a theme for all the food served. The portions were restrained, but each of the dishes bursted with complex flavors. Liebrandt’s current froie gras preparation is coated in a beet spread and served with quince. The combination worked and thoroughly satisfied my fat tooth. Perhaps even better was the Violet Hill Farm Egg, which was presented on several plates. The dish included a serving of pig head which was outstanding. We both ordered the Painted Hills Beef entrée, also served on multiple plates. The beef, extremely dense and rich, was perfectly cooked. On the side was a stunningly flavorful serving of veal cheek. Since we still had wine in our glasses, I ordered a cheese plate, which was excellent. The chocolate tart, while very good, was slightly boring. A bigger disappointment was the Macoun Apple dessert. More savory than then sweet, the dish was dominated by a strong dose of rosemary.
While the food was the highlight of the evening, the wines were also very good. After an introductory glass of Champagne, I ordered a half bottle of 2005 Michel Bouzereau Meursault Les Grands Charrons. The wine is a good example of Meursault, slight nutty and rich on the palate. At the recommendation of the sommelier, we drank a 2000 Joseph Roty Clos Prieur Bas. The nose was musty at first, but that blew off and revealed nice earthy aromas. Like most wines from this vintage, the Roty is very soft and supple in the mouth. The vintage did not receive great press upon release, but the wines are very enjoyable at the moment and perfect for consumption in restaurants. The New York Times awarded Corton 3 stars and I would not be surprised if it received a 4 star in the future. Corton is an outstanding restaurant that will satisfy both the wine lover and the foodie.