Editor’s Pick: Dinner at Cathédrale, New York
Entering the Moxy East Village’s new restaurant, Cathédrale, my eyes are quickly drawn up toward the ceiling-wide vortex of mesh wiring. Portraying birds flying toward the heavens, Fillmore by Edoardo Tresoldi is the Italian artist’s North American debut—and it took eight months for the hotel to convince him to do it.
The grandeur of dinner could rival the drama of the restaurant’s art. While the Moxy East Village has a punk rock sort of vibe, Cathédrale caters to a more elegant and refined sensibility, while still being somewhat playful in its offerings. The menu features French-Mediterranean cuisine that is equal parts indulgent and fresh, starting with the cocktails.
Cathédrale knows about a good cocktail. I particularly enjoyed the April in Paris, a pretty pink drink made with Tanqueray, sherry, rose nectar, raspberry, lemon, topped with little fuchsia rosebuds and served in a 1920s-esque coupe glass. The citrusy, floral cocktail was refreshing yet familiar, and the rose was perfectly balanced without taking on a soapy quality.
While the whole meal was great, the appetizers were perhaps the most exciting and theatrical part of the evening. First came the epi baguette: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, just like it should be, and completed with French butter and a pot of rotisserie chicken drippings that I could have easily drank.
Then the starters took a turn for the luxurious with the arrival of the potato chip omelet, which just might have been the best part of the whole experience. The eggs were exceptionally creamy, topped with caviar, crème fraîche and a halo of homemade potato chips. This dish has every texture—creamy, crunchy, smooth. It’s humorous pairing high-end caviar with homespun potato chips, and the taste is nothing short of sensational. A must-try.
The entrees were lovely, too. I sampled the fettuccine, which was a traditional creamy pasta with French butter, lots of pepper and black truffle. It was a good, reliable, staple dish. But the diver scallop gratiné was a real stunner. Three rich, delicate scallops with a crunchy gratin top seated on a bed of smoky red peppers, capers and a generous pool of lemon oil. It was decadent yet light. And at three scallops, it was perfectly sized. Lest we forget dessert…
There are many tasty-sounding desserts on Cathédrale’s menu, but the apple beignets spoke to a special part of my soul. These little round spheres come out good and warm and then get a tableside drizzling of slightly bitter chocolate sauce, which is a nice complement to the sweet doughnut filled with diced, cinnamon apples. Eating this dessert is a deep-breath, eyes-closed kind of experience that transported me back to eating fresh, hot beignets in my parents’ kitchen. But it was a more refined experience (see: small beignets, bittersweet chocolate sauce) and the perfect way to end a beautifully indulgent, multi-hour night of eating.
Before you go, consider ordering one more cocktail (perhaps the Zou Bisou, Bisou, a take on a Moscow Mule). Then look up and consider Tresoldi’s wire mesh birds.