La Silhouette is a French-inspired fine dining restaurant in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen that is helmed by chef Matthew Tropeano, formerly of La Grenouille. It is a French inspired restaurant that takes classical French ingredients but prepares them in exciting and innovative ways.
The decor at La Silhouette belies its cooking. It is all straight lines, muted colors with pops of red, and utilitarian decor. It looks like a restaurant that would serve modern American or trendy Italian food, not one that would serve such fanciful and decadent items as it does.
This is the first hint of Chef Tropeano’s technique. The golf-ball sized croquette has a crispy crust that hides incredibly moist, sweet duck. Not at all gamy or greasy, the duck is tender and mild. The rosemary aioli underneath brings out the deeper tones of the duck. This is crunchy, soft, and meaty all at once.
Foie Gras “A La Botero” with Sweet Plantains, Roasted Pineapple-Shallot Confit, and Coffee Jus
The foie is cooked perfectly, with a thick, salty crust outside and a slightly pink, melting center inside. It is meaty, sweet, and incredibly savory. The texture is perfect – smooth and crunchy all in one bite. The coffee jus has a pleasing bitter quality to counteract the pineapple confit’s sugar, and the plantains are revelatory. They tone down the pineapple confit’s sweetness while bringing out the rich tones of the foie. This dish alone is worth a trip to the restaurant.
Veal Sweetbreads with Fennel and Roasted Garlic Ravioli, Pine Nuts, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
A shell similar to fried chicken, with a thick, crispy coating, surrounding soft, creamy meat. It is more mild and a bit firmer than foie, but with the same iron-y, mineral rich taste. It tastes like meaty, tender chicken fingers – that’s the best way to describe these. And though dunking them in ketchup or honey mustard might obscure the subtle taste of the veal, the bright, acidic Meyer lemon sauce added zip and elevated the dish. The roasted fennel is sweet and tender, as is was the soft, supple ravioli.
From left to right, there is a creamy, mild goat cheese, a sharp, nutty sheep’s milk cheese, and a pungent, very ripe blue cheese. Served with various accompaniments (including an incredible sweet cherry compote), this is a fantastic pre-dessert course.
A few petit fours finished off the meal.
La Silhouette is changing the way that Hell’s Kitchen eats. The service is elegant and unobtrusive, the wines by the glass are excellent, and the food is absolutely four star. Of course, because it’s in Hell’s Kitchen, the prices are incredibly cheap – if this restaurant were on the UES, the meal would have cost easily 3 times as much. Also because it’s in Hell’s Kitchen, there is a prix fixe lunch option. And take out for lunch. This is the best kept secret in NYC – a Michelin level meal right in Hell’s Kitchen, served by a pedigreed chef at unbelievably fair prices.
To read Sarah’s full review of La Silhouette, visit her blog, fritosandfoiegras.