Planner extraordinaire Kenny picked Apiary for the annual gathering, an NYU gem that highlights the freshest catch and locally grown veggies each season.
Local sourcing and the whole farm-to-table movement might be considered yesterday’s hype, but this place as stood the test of time, around since our college years.
For a party of our size, we had to narrow down their selections for a pre-set menu.
I had the celery root veloute, a creamy soup with shiitake mushrooms and chives with a drizzle of black truffle butter. The mushrooms were pickled, providing a kick to the refreshingly earthy soup. Jay had the hamachi crudo, a clean plate of thinly sliced raw fish that still somehow steals the from the tangy hearts of palms and spicy jalapeno.
There was a certain freshness to my Long Island duck breast, gaminess that wasn’t unbearable, but rather brought out the authenticity of the bird. The side of parsnip puree was pristine, like a blank canvas for the duck and the chunks of turnip. Jay of course had the New York strip steak from Creekstone, soaked in red wine jus with creamed spinach.
Dessert was on the ordinary side, but by no means bland. The Valharona flourless chocolate cake was warm and rich. The Apple tart tatin crispy, silky, gooey all at the same time.
Apiary emerges from the hard work and dedication of chef Scott Bryan and business partner Jenny Moon. I’ve been in this back kitchen before and there’s a sense of back to basics about their operation that emanates from their food. You won’t find anything opulent here, but that’s exactly how you can appreciate the how good fresh, simple cooking can be.