Avant-Garde Delicacies At Frevo Lies Past A Secret Artwork Gallery In New York

Avant Garde Cuisine At Frevo Lies Beyond A Secret Art Gallery

The possibilities are very slim exterior of New York to search out two distinctive eating places on one block run by two good younger cooks. However on West Eighth Avenue in Greenwich Village, you’ll discover Depraved Jane, which I wrote about final week, and the two-year  previous Frevo. I exploit the phrase “distinctive” within the true sense of being “certainly one of a form,” for each eating places are wholly distinctive from one another and each different restaurant.  

 Within the case of Frevo, the doorway is a little bit of an Alice By the Wanting Glass puzzle: the eating space is secreted behind a hidden door in a small, brightly lighted storefront artwork gallery whose giant work are described to you by a bunch who will then pull a type of work away from the wall to disclose entry to a shadowy, smooth eating room not in contrast to a speakeasy, dominated by a stupendous marble counter in entrance of a gleaming kitchen the place Brazilian-born Chef-partner Franco Sampogna and his cooks work quietly to arrange dishes you’ve got undoubtedly by no means seen earlier than. Curiouser and curiouser.

There are 22 seats, together with one desk for six on the rear, however the comfy counter chairs are properly separated from each other in order that two folks can take pleasure in their very own private area and dialog. The lighting is low, with charming lamps on the counter which are, oddly, set away from the dishes, so with a view to admire the artfulness and colour of the meals you have to push the dishes into the sunshine.  

The night time I visited, most  friends had been Asian, together with two girls canoodling on the finish of the counter and two others who by no means took their eyes from their iPhones all through your complete night.  My spouse and I most popular to observe the ministry of cooking earlier than us and to talk to the authoritative manager-partner Bernardo Silva who serves you every course and sommelier Quentin Vauléon, all with spectacular résumés in France and New York.  In Sampogna’s case, meaning stints at Man Savoy and Alain Ducasse, in addition to a soft job aboard a non-public yacht. 

The identify Frevo is Portuguese, which means “to boil,” which Sampogna says refers to New York’s scorching power.  But the pacing, noise degree and ambiance of Frevo has a subdued sophistication with none fireworks. The expertise of a six-course $158 tasting menu is certainly one of calm and pleasure.  The menu modifications with every season, and Sampogna insists {that a} tasting menu “is likely one of the most sustainable enterprise fashions within the restaurant world” as a result of nothing is wasted every night.

As you may anticipate in a restaurant of this fashion, even the menu is elegantly printed, on two kinds of paper, and afterwards offered to you in  card with an art work by the painter within the entrance gallery.  You may additionally anticipate that Sampogna’s fashion tilts in the direction of modernism and the molecular, however his dishes are pretty easy, based mostly on first-rate components and offered exquisitely. (His sources are printed on the again of the menu proper right down to the ocean salt from Amagansett.) He does are likely to smoke a  lot of his dishes, even the butter that  goes on housemade bread, inflicting it to scent and style as if it had been saved open subsequent to the smoked salmon within the fridge.

We started with three amuses: a tapioca with smoked eel, a splash of sake and Kristal caviar; lobster with a refined curry Breton and wisps of dill; and splendidly gentle sea urchin with maitake mushrooms and fennel. These are dishes that actually make you wanting to style what comes subsequent.

Blue fin tuna comes with an Asian observe of coconut and lime caviar (which I’ve realized is an Australian finger lime), whereas octopus is flavored with lardo, spicy Iberian chorizo and purple pepper with a real and satisfying kick. Presently Sampogna is serving a wonderfully poached  egg on brioche with beneficiant shavings of white truffle, for a $24 complement. The issue with white truffles—which as of late are promoting for $5000 a pound—is that many have minimal aroma and taste, and Frevo’s that night time had been refined certainly.    An outstanding plate of untamed black seabass confirmed off the experience that French coaching in seafood offers, right here with woodsy chanterelles and miso with a vin jaune.  This prepares you for the velvety lusciousness of duck breast with pistachios, the scent of lavender and a bang of Sichuan pepper.

Dessert is a chocolate ganache-filled cocoa and salted almond-caramel tuile.

The wine pairings at $105 or $240 per particular person make excellent sense, since Vauléon has impeccable style in marrying his listing to Sampogna’s meals. In any other case the listing may be very pretty priced, with many bottles underneath $100. 

The menu I’ve simply described will change this winter, however I can’t think about Sampogna will veer off into something that isn’t inherent in his strategy to delicacies. It’s thrilling to observe it ready and plated, scrumptious to devour, and a extremely edifying ambiance wherein to take action. 


48 West 8th Avenue


Open for dinner seatings Tues.-Sat.

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