It’s been a little over two weeks since Preserve24 officially opened, and I’ve been eager to taste Chef John Parlatore’s food (he is the executive chef at both Preserve24 and Sprig, located in the Lipstick Building in midtown east). We began the evening with appetizers and a bottle of rosé at the Arbor bar on the main floor. The local cheese plate with housemade fig jam and Preserve24 seafood platter were great starters. The seafood platter contained a wide assortment of fresh oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster, crudo, and a spicy lobster claw salad. For the oyster lovers out there, from 5-8pm you can enjoy oysters at the bar for $1!
We then moved the party to the downstairs dining room for our main courses. Let me just start out by saying that I was totally blown away by the food. We sampled a little bit of everything on the menu (or at least it seemed that way), starting with the roasted bone marrow & onion marmalade, roasted asparagus & sunny side up egg, and a special squid ink pasta with lobster cream sauce. Hands down, that bone marrow was one of the absolute BEST I’ve ever eaten (rivaled only by Blue Ribbon Bakery, which is my all time favorite). It was roasted beautifully and perfectly complemented by the savory onion marmalade. The asparagus topped with a sunny side up egg and shaved ouray cheese over a toasted baguette was divine. I hope that Chef John adds the squid ink pasta to the menu — permanently — because it was out of this world delicious! When squid ink pasta is done right, it is exquisite. Our next course was the organic roasted chicken with Italian salsa verde that came out in a huge cast iron roasting pan — the smell was intoxicating! We had the pleasure of meeting Chef John when he dropped by our table to carve that magnificent bird. It was insanely juicy and I fell in love with the Italian salsa verde (I need to get some of it to go next time and eat it over white rice at home ;)). By that time, I was already pretty full. Then I saw a monster 30 day dry-aged Porterhouse with smoked garlic marrow butter headed our way — it was incredibly tender and ultra rare (the only way I like my meat) and had a nice, crispy crust. A huge platter of fire roasted veggies was served as well (broccoli, carrots, fennel, asparagus, fingerlings, mushrooms, you name it). I was so happy and full at that point — you can roll me on home now, thanks! But a meal is not complete with something sweet, so we dug deep and inhaled a rich chocolate bread pudding with marsala mascarpone and a yummy bowl of popcorn ice cream — how creative!
After such a decadent and satisfying meal, I am now Preserve24’s biggest fan. Thank you, Joel and Chef John, for an amazing dining experience! I’ve admired the quirky and playful interior from the start, and will be back again (and again) for the fantastic food (rustic with a city twist). Oh, and there are plans to bring a 4,000lb ice sculpture into the restaurant in the near future. I can’t wait to see that!
Preserve24: 177 East Houston (at Allen Street)
Saxelby’s Cheese Plate, selection of local cheese with fig jam
Preserve24 Platter: Blue Point, Beau Soleil, and Malpeque oysters, Little Neck clams, Lobster
Preserve24 Platter: Crudo, Shrimp, and Spicy lobster claw salad
The Arbor Bar on the main floor
Cool ceiling fans!
Main floor walkway — there’s a raw bar to the left and more seating in the back
Roasted Asparagus, garlic aioli, toasted truffle baguette, sunny side up egg, and ouray
Roasted bone marrow with crispy guanciale, parsley, and onion marmalade
Five minutes after we got the bone marrow, it looked like this
Special: Squid ink pasta with lobster cream sauce
Organic roasted chicken, Italian salsa verde, and roasted potatoes
Chef John Parlatore carving the chicken
All carved up and ready to eat
30 Day Dry Aged Porterhouse, smoked garlic marrow butter with dressed greens
Love it when it’s rare!
Fire Roasted Vegetables
Popcorn ice cream
Chocolate Bread Pudding with Marsala mascarpone
Downstairs dining room and open kitchen
Open kitchen and wood burning oven