Taste: Gayle Force

Former Le Bec-Fin chef Daniel Stern wants to redefine American cuisine

Daniel Stern doesn’t need to be modest. His résumé boasts stints with Rocco DiSpirito, Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and, most recently, Georges Perrier. Stern’s repertoire includes white truffle soup with chicken dumplings and wilted kale; chilled grapefruit/red wine soup with an island of avocado parfait; and hand-stuffed chicken and cabbage sausages. His recipes tend to call for piping bags, foie gras, and gently candied something.

But soft-spoken Stern describes his first solo venture, the new, 40-seat Gayle in Queen Village, as simply “an experiment in fine dining.” And he describes the dish pictured here, simply, as “scallop with crab dumpling.”

What Stern doesn’t say when he describes Gayle’s “American creative” cuisine is that emphasis is deliciously on creative. That scallop with crab dumpling: A large, sweet Maine sea scallop, scored to blossom like a chrysanthemum when roasted, is paired with a crabmeat-and-apple-stuffed dumpling, its skin made from scallops. The dish is glazed with emulsified riesling, and garnished with candied apple peels and a dried apple chip. Everything — even the silverware sculpture — is made in-house.

Gayle, 617 South 3rd Street; 215-922-3850. Dinner only; closed Sunday.

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