Haute Dining: Millesime Restaurant is One in a Million

Millesime has been called, among other things, the restaurant with the best Caesar Salad in NYC. But the restaurant with the finest fish cake in the world? It has never been called that. Until now.

Millesime, in the Carlton hotel, is a beautiful, Disney-fied version of a grand French Brasserie. It specializes in traditional seafood, including a huge selection of fresh oysters.

We got quite the selection of oysters, and they were all wonderful. I tend to like the small, creamy oysters from Martha’s Vineyard, but these were all fresh, light, salty and superb with a squeeze of lemon and a peppery hit of Tabasco.

The red wine and shallot butter paired with it was a total revelation. Blending that deep, earthy red wine and some sweet shallots into that creamy butter, then pairing it with the hearty bread and an almost effervescent oyster gave the whole thing an amazing combination of deep and light, earth and sea. It was really a standout of the meal.

Smoked Herring Salad and Warm Fingerling Potatoes

This was another winner! The mild, smoky fillets of herring had an almost bacon-esque quality with a silky smooth texture. None of that odd fishy-ness that lesser herring sometimes has. The oil in which it was submerged was lemony and rich enough to spoon over the creamy, perfectly cooked potatoes. A truly perfect dish.

The Caesar Salad

Grilled romaine lettuce, stuffed with nutty Parmesan cheese, then dressed in a garlic-lime dressing. The smoked cod is so thinly sliced that it is almost unnoticeable. It was a novelty item more than anything else.

Pike Quenelles Jean-Louis Dumonet Style

Well, I don’t know who Jean-Louis is, but I am pretty much ready to become his wife. Because this is the best fish cake I have had in my life! There was a slightly crisp top which gave way to a warm, pillowy interior that tasted like the world’s best hot crab dip, but with no cheese and more wine. It just had that sweet, rich, decadent taste. It was languishing in this creamy, shellfish-flavored sauce that was so good that my dining companions and I started unabashedly spooning it into our mouths!

We finished with the chocolate mousse bar with tangerine sorbet.

A perfect finish – smooth, deep, almost bitter chocolate tempered by sweet, tangy, bright sorbet. If the sorbet was just a touch hard, no one noticed or cared.

This was a fantastic dining experience. Beautiful dining room, relaxed atmosphere, and a waiter who let us gab at the table for a good 3 hours without pressuring us to order a drink.

For more delicious adventures in NYC and beyond, head to Fritos and Foie Gras.

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