I haven't yet been to the new Ducasse restaurant Adour, but I still found Frank Bruni's review today in the New York Times to be insightful in the following way: he says that the best dishes at Adour are about a single ingredient both amplified and stripped down to its essence. "It (a raspberry dessert called a "composition")encapsulates what I remember most fondly about most of my favorite dishes here: the way one flavor, one ingredient or just a few rang clear and true. Take that velouté, which has a creamy texture but tastes entirely of cauliflower, cut with some lemon, the acidity of which insures against any, well, dullness.Or take a sweetbreads appetizer. There’s an amusingly sculptured egg — it’s a dead ringer for a head of garlic — with the organ meat, and there are wild mushrooms and a veal jus afoot. But what anchors and exalts the dish are the sweetbreads themselves, intense and succulent, with that wonderful faint undertone of funk."
Having eaten at other Ducasse restaurants I think that's a brilliant insight. Taking one ingredient and preparing it in a certain way to bring out its maximum flavor and texture potential is exactly what Ducasse does better than anyone. I can think back to a sea urchin custard I once had at Alain Ducasse in the Essex House. It was creamy, crazy delicious sea urchin to the nth power. So touche, Mr. Bruni.
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