Lobster "En Brioche"
It's pure decadence: perfectly cooked chunks of butter-poached lobster tossed with a generous amount of black truffle brunoise and stuffed into Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis's awesomely buttery brioche roll. Close your eyes and bite into this and you could imagine you're tasting the best hot lobster roll you've ever had.
"Le Bernardin" Salmon Rillette with Toast ($16)
A combination of lightly cooked salmon and raw cured smoked salmon whipped together and bound into a creamy rillette with chives. Think of it as the best cream cheese with lox ever. Instead of bagels, it comes with wafer-thin croutons.
Kanpachi Tartare with Wasabi Tobiko and Ginger-Coriander Emulsion ($18)
"This one's got some real kick," said Ed as he bit into a spoonful of the hot wasabi-cured flying fish roe and tender, mildly fatty chunks of Kanpachi, a smaller, paler relative of Yellowtail Tuna.
Tuna Tartare with Belgian Endive ($18)
In anyone else's hands, tuna tartare may come off as trite, passé even. But Ripert's tartare is the last word on the dish. Ultra-fresh tuna with just enough mildly aromatic chives, a hint of olive oil, and crisp, bitter spears of Belgian endive to scoop it with.
Lobster Cappuccino ($14)
An intensely lobstery foam floats on top of a rich celery root soup studded with cubes of black truffle and tender chunks of butter-poached lobster. At $14 for what amounts to a couple sips, it might be the most expensive cup of soup in the city, but man, is it good.
Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur with Golden Osetra ($35)
There's not really too much you can say about a grilled cheese sandwich made with Laiskonis's brioche, along with some smoked salmon and caviar stuffed into it. The title sort of speaks for itself. (Hint: it's really really good.)