Last Night my family and I went to Dennis Foy, a new restaurant in Tribeca. It's New American cuisine with French influences. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the colorful arches on the ceiling. Dennis Foy is the chef/owner and is also an artist, his artwork adorns the walls of his restaurant. The paintings were actually really nice. The lighting is somber and dim, with a red haze illuminated by the beautiful reddish glass lamps hanging from the ceiling. The lamps are works of art themselves. So, before the meal even started I was taken back, and felt as if I were in a work of art, which I guess I really was.
I started off with a cocktail with passion fruit, tequila and pink peppercorns. It was refreshing and very good. It hit the spot. My sister had a Blackberry Lemonade cocktail which was also very good.
After my older sister arrived we ordered a bottle of wine. And then they brought out a bread basket with three different types of bread: a french roll, one with olives, and one with walnuts and cranberries. I would try all three throughout the night, and all were great. I'm a sucker for good bread, because it's a great way to start a meal, and plus, it's free!
Before the appetizers came the waiters brought out a complimentary dish of pickled vegetables and oxtail boullon. I loved this dish! The pickled vegetables reminded me of kimchee, but had a touch of sweetness to it. The oxtail boullon tasted great and was very soothing. What I loved the most about this dish (besides being complimentary) was the contrast between the spiciness of the vegatables, (which also had a nice crunch to them) with the saltiness and soothing of the broth-like boullon. It was a well balanced dish.
Then the appetizers arrived. And when I say "then" I mean a while after. One thing I'd like to note about Dennis Foy is the pacing. This is not a place to go if you have a show to catch or you need to be somewhere in a hurry. This is a place where you go to eat good food and linger. They take their time here, and it's nice. It gives you time to digest and talk with your fellow dining companions over some nice wine.
Back to those appetizers. We had the Sauteed Potato Gnocchi with sage and chives, the Warm Crab Tian, Salt Cure Terrine of Fois Gras, Konpachi and Fried Veal Sweetbreads.
The Gnocchi was very good. Although the texture of each gnocchi was not as soft as I'd like, the flavors were wonderful.
The Crab was excellent. I loved this dish. Think of a crabcake without the bread. It was all crab, and it was perfectly seasoned, and had touch of rosemary on top. I loved this full crab flavor. It was probably my favorite dish of the night.
The Fois Gras was also nice, but did not blow me away. I believe there was some sort of apple cider sauce on the side that didn't really go to well with the dish. But the fois gras itself was fine.
The Konpachi, which is really a very good type of yellowtail was also very good. It was five pieces of the fish on a plate; think sashimi. It was colorful, refreshing and tasted great.
The Fried Sweetbreads were very good as well. I enjoyed the crispiness and the flavors of the dish.
Then we moved on to our entrees. Again, there was a nice space in between each course to linger and chat. For entrees we had Lamb two ways, Arctic Char, Veal and Fried Sweetbreads, and Scallops.
The Lamb two ways, was a loin with bow-tie noodles and mushrooms, and a shank with wilted lettuce. The lamb was cooked perfectly, very tender and perfectly seasoned. I loved the lamb. The problem with the dish was what the lamb was on top of. I thought the bowtie noodles were not only boring, but did not go well with the loin. The same could be said about the wilted lettuce. It looked like this green sludge and it too, did not go well with the shank. It was very uncomplimentary. I would have preferred a better pairing with the excellent meat.
The Arctic Char came with spinach, nutmeg and pommes soufflees. It came served in a bowl with a broth. Basically, it reminded me of an Asian soup. The Char was nicely cooked, crispy on top, tended in the middle, but bland. What you needed to do was put all the ingredients in the broth on your spoon and eat it at the same time. This made the dish very good. All the flavors and textures worked in my mouth and it was very soothing.
The Veal and Fried Sweetbreads (yes more sweetbreads) was very good. The veal was tender and came with some sort of potato puree which was nice. As the dishes were being passed around the table, I'm not exactly sure if there was a sweetbread left for me, but it was still a nice dish.
The Scallops, (there were three) were each topped with something different. I know one had asparagus, one had some fried vegetable on top, and the other might have had a mushroom, but I can't be too sure. The fact is, it was not a memorable dish at all. I didn't like the dish. The scallops were a bit tough and dry, and the seasoning on the bottom of the plate, which looked like some sort of crushed red pepper did not go well with the scallops at all. Again, it was very uncomplimentary. A disappointment.
For dessert we had the Black Plum Financier with Winter Fruit Compote, and Aged Rum Ice Cream. It was ok, but very unmemorable. We also had the Chocolate Royale which was basically a chocolate mouse with hazlenut cookie bottom. It was fine, but also very unmemorable.
So, if you are downtown in Tribeca and feel like lingering with some good wine and decent American fare with French influences Dennis Foy is a nice, relaxing spot. Sit back, relax, and sip your wine as you experience dining in a work of art.
313 Church Street (between Lispenard and Walker Sts)
New York, NY 10013