Multiple James Beard Award winning chef Terrance Brennan opened Picholine to instant acclaim in 1995 – but it now almost seems like a whole other lifetime ago. In the interim, his beloved E. 32nd St. restaurant Artisanal (closed in 2017) was the first in the US to have its own cheese aging cave inside.
But 2019 finds him the current resident at the epicurean temple that is Chefs Club, where he’s created the refined but approachable Côte Médi. The malleable space has been transformed into a seafood lovers paradise, filled with sizzling pans and open flames that result in exquisite char grilled langoustines and seared jumbo scallops with sabayon and black truffle.
Considering he’s practically a New York culinary icon, it’s funny to see him back on the line working night after night in the kitchen. But Brennan is lit up with new vitality, practically buzzing – and working side by side with his talented sous chefs and cooks he says, “fills [him] with energy. And the sophisticated clientele invigorates me!” It’s all a prep for his next big move, which is a permanent location for Côte Médi in the city.
He maintains, “it’s all about the ingredients.” But of course, locally sourced sea urchin for fondue or tender tentacles of grilled octopus don’t come easily. He boasts relationships with local fisherman, farms and artisans, which provide the freshest products possible.
So other than a new home, what’s next for him and the Côte Médi team?
“In terms of specific ingredients,” he enthuses, “I’ve been really excited about a few dishes I’m working on with various kinds of plankton. It’s the foundation of the ocean’s ecosystem, producing fifty-percent of the world’s oxygen! It’s a unique ingredient.”
Chef Brennan’s team is at Chefs Club through September 28th. But should you not be planning to be in Gotham between now and then, he was gracious enough to share a few of his most coveted recipes with BlackBook.
Melon Granite with Lime Espuma
2c cantaloupe juice, from one small melon
¾ of sweet desert wine
Juice of limes, about 1/4c
Zest of 1 lime
1c heavy cream
1) Mix the melon juice, wine and half the lemon juice and place it in a shallow not reactive
plan and place in the freezer. Using a fork scrap the granite every half hour until the
granite is frozen, about 2 hours
2) Bring the lime juice and sugar to a boil and mix until the sugar is dissolved, chill
3) Add lime sugar mixture and zest to the heavy cream and place in a isi canister and
charge two times
4) Divide the granite into 4 small bowls and top off with lime espuma, serve immediately
**If one does not have an isi canister you can whip the cream using a whisk or machine
Cucumber Gazpacho with Crab Salad
3c peeled medium diced cucumber
1c white grapes
¼ Greek yogurt
1/2c cashews, raw
2ea garlic cloves
1/4c olive oil
1) Place cashews in pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 min, drain
2) Place all the ingredients in a blender and process for 1 minute, strain through a fine
mesh chinois and chill
3) Divide soup into 4 soup plates, place crab in center of bowl and pour soup around
6oz lump crab meat
3tbs Greek yogurt
1tbs lemon juice
1tbs shallots, finely diced
2tbs dill finely chopped
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
1) Gently mix all the ingredients together, being careful not to break up the crabmeat,
refrigerate until ready to use.