BourbonBlog.com’s Matt Capucilli reports from NYC:
On an unassuming Wednesday night in Manhattan, I arrive at Daniel NYC, which boasts one of the best culinary experiences in New York. After checking my coat with a thickly-accented madam, I walk into a nearby private dining area.I quickly recognize world-class Master Blender Richard Paterson amongst twenty guests.
Paterson is in high gear, as always. He offers a compliment on my tie clip, which is flattering considering I’m the only male present without a suit coat. We start drinking a Dalmore ‘new fashioned’ and have a pleasant conversation about New York apartments. He’s surprised that most exclude a washer and drier. “You do get a refrigerator, right?”
An announcement is made and we all sit for dinner. The table is exquisite. It reminds me of a scene from the first class ranks in Titanic. I strike up conversations with writers from Food & Wine, Time, and Cigar Aficionado. All nice people.
Chef Boulud skillfully enters with both the timing of a rockstar and the humility of a craftsman. He and Paterson take the floor to riff about their new collaboration; a very unique bespoke Dalmore whisky which is the first in the world created by both a Master Blender and a Michelin star chef.
The concoction known as “The Dalmore Selected by Daniel Boulud” was generated by Paterson first creating a palate of distinctly flavored whiskies. Boulud then selected three of these whiskies to be finally proportioned and blended by Paterson.
I can feel a tense kinship between Boulud and Paterson. They are both very talented individuals who care about the time and energy they invested in the product being presented here, but it’s obvious they hail from different camps.
The first course is paired with the new whisky, and it is fantastic. Citrus notes in the whisky are complimented by a slight orange flavor in the scallop dish.
Three more savory courses follow, including foie gras, sweetbreads, and sea bass. Each of these is coupled with a wine that represents a specific component of the new whisky. While the quality of each item is profound, these pairings are a bit rough.The wines are intense while the food is delicate. Nevertheless, it is a outstanding set of flavors.
When the dessert course comes out, I can sense that Boulud may have felt the same way about the previous pairings. He says the dark chocolate, Crème Brulée, and new whisky are the “real pairing” he has in mind.
I really enjoy the new Dalmore whisky selected by Daniel Boulud. It has the clean elegance of a quality highland malt combined with the fruit flavors normally found in a cognac. I would drink it by itself or at either end of a meal.
After dinner, Richard and I snap a few pictures and continue our conversation. We’re becoming fast friends. If this is the kind of party he wants to throw, I’ll report for duty.