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Modernist/"new gatherer" tasting menus from forager and self-taught chef Iliana Regan. Advance tickets required.

Our Review

Iliana Regan's captivating trajectory from forager and underground chef to principal of her own restaurant is something of a fairy tale. So too is her ending point, a snug storefront in Lincoln Square where she's offering multicourse tasting menus of her modernist "new gatherer" cuisine. The three options range from a top-tier 20- to 25-course "Diamond" menu ($175-$205) to a 12- to 16-course "Deer" menu with a woodland theme expressed in its reliance on foraged and hunted and trapped ingredients ($125-$155) to an 8- to 10-course "Owl" tasting based on a farm-to-table aesthetic ($65-$95). But while it's expensive to walk these woods, Regan's food is worth it. She's philosophically aligned with the uncompromisingly local and foraged food of Nordic chefs such as Rene Redzepi of Denmark's Noma, but also modernist, though her gels, powders, and foams rarely overshadow her strikingly pretty dishes' connections to the earth. One of the more outstanding dishes from the "Deer" menu was a foamy green sponge made from lamb's quarters, gel from foraged wild carrot flowers, and brilliantly colored roasted red, orange, and yellow carrots from her own garden. Regan and her chefs appear at the table frequently, in one case delivering a speaker playing Jefferson Airplane's "Go Ask Alice" to accompany a course called "1 Pill Makes You Larger," a teacup filled with an intensely meaty mushroom stock bolstered with cocoa nibs and chamomile. For the diner there's a certain amount of risk inherent in embarking on an hours-long dinner at a communal table. But Elizabeth was built on the goodwill of the adventurers who attended Regan's apartment dinners, and a permanent establishment is only going to multiply their numbers. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

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