Smoked Meat Sandwiches, a Summer Menu at Pierre and South American Ceviche
This week's new and noted restaurants.
Pass the Pastrami
Craving a classic Reuben or pastrami sandwich? Short of flying to the Big Apple, new American delicatessen Morty’s is your next best bet with a menu of classic smoked meat sandwiches and mouthwatering sides. Morty’s house-made pastrami pays homage to the beloved New York culinary tradition, using a 45-day aging process which includes applying the spice rub, curing for more than 20 days, cooking, smoking over hickory wood chips, and then resting. The result of this laborious five-stage process is an earthy, deep, bacon-like meat that’s tender and just falling apart, infused with the smoky flavors of hickory and cherry wood. The slices of pastrami are piled up high in the classic Reuben ($118 regular, $148 large), complemented by tangy sauerkraut, Russian dressing and freshly baked rye bread; and in the Classic Pastrami ($108 regular, $138 large) with hand-cut lean, medium or fatty beef brisket with yellow mustard on rye. If smoked and cured meat doesn’t do it for you, chow down on the smoked truffle chicken ($98) instead, with grilled shiitake mushrooms, tomato, arugula and truffle mayonnaise on ciabatta; or the smoked turkey ($98 regular, $128 large), another American classic featuring the white meat on house rye. And if you thought this was going to be a healthy meal, think again: the sides feature irresistible guilty indulgences such as the “Kitchen Sink” poutine ($98) with chopped pastrami and chili added to the classic cheese, gravy and fries combo.
Shop 12-14, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, 3665-0900.
Summer with Pierre
It’s not often you get to sit down for dinner in one of the fine dining temples of our city (think Petrus, Amber and Caprice)—that is, unless you’ve been saving up those hard-earned dollars for a very special occasion. Celebrated chef Pierre Gagnaire is looking to make his eponymous restaurant Pierre a little more accessible to diners with a special ‘Soirées d’été’ summer menu priced at $798 per person—a big drop from the regular $1,898 six-course tasting menu. More of a teaser than a marathon degustation, the three-course summer menu is just enough to experience the gustatory thrills of Gagnaire’s cooking without having to block off your whole night or make it a once-a-year occasion. Start off with tomato water with parmesan cheese gnocchi and green bell pepper ice cream, marinated mackerel and grilled octopus with shrimp jelly and shizo paste, or chef Gagnaire’s eloquent take on a roasted Canadian lobster salad. For mains, the grilled John Dory pays utmost respect to the delicate fish with baby artichokes and ratatouille, while the leg of lamb features a unique sea buckthorn juice which adds a tangy and unexpected note. Desserts showcase the playful side of the kitchen, with a savory-sweet burrata ice cream boasting notes of white balsamic vinegar, raspberry meringue, honey, olive oil and basil.
25/F, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd. Central, 2825-4001.
From Land to Sea
Argentinian steakhouse Gaucho is presenting the perfect summer dish this month, with a new menu of South American ceviches paired fittingly with light Argentinian wines. If you aren’t stuffing yourself with the moreish parmesan and feta puffy cheese breads (guilty), a healthy and satisfying dinner awaits at this black and white steakhouse that’s usually more well-known for hunky cuts of marinated beef than light summer starters. With distinct flavor profiles, the three new ceviches on the menu are all worth trying, including the Ecuadorian Ceviche with just-blanched shrimp coated in a tomato and pepper sauce, the richest of the three; the Salmon Ceviche, which draws flavor from the Peruvian chili paste aji amarillo and adds in chopped mango for sweetness; and the sea bass, which embodies everything you want from a perfectly constructed ceviche with acidic, citrusy and slightly sweet notes bursting with freshness and vitality. Light grapefruit is balanced with creamy wasabi mayonnaise, while the addition of sweetcorn—a classic component in authentic South American ceviches—adds an unexpected but welcome contrast to the fish. Toast to a healthy dinner with a glass of indigenous Argentinian Torrontés wine, which is dry and crisp to complement all that citrus.
5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2386-8090.