Asian Fusion Lounge Gets Two Bells
Craig LaBan discovers that Asian Fusion still has some life left, especially in the hands of Pearl’s Chef Ari Weiswasser.
Not that Pearl’s “pan-Asian” concept exactly offers fresh turf for an ambitious young chef to roam. The menu touches every cliche in the Asian fusion playbook, from tuna tartare to miso-glazed black cod, tempura-fried rock shrimp, and calamari salad.
But it is in the execution that Weiswasser’s pedigree shines through, his years in the rigorous kitchens of Restaurant Daniel, Gilt, Striped Bass and Le Bec-Fin giving new life and a little elegance to these old water chestnuts.
There is an extra succulence to the Peking duck spring rolls, for example, thanks to two duck preparations for the stuffing (involving lots of molten duck fat), a dash of sweet corn puree, and a finishing inner wrap of Thai basil that gives each bite an herby freshness.
Two Bells – Very Good