With the major success and heavily publicized ventures of Chef Laurent Tourondel—BLT Steak, BLT Prime, BLT Fish, and BLT Burger—it is surprising that his current role as Executive Chef for Brasserie Ruhlmann is being kept under such wraps in the press. His delicious artichoke vinaigrette and shoestring fries seem to be a secret kept amongst those who work in the area.
Without a doubt, at least half of NBC Studios must call the gorgeous outdoor table array their cafeteria. Everyday, hordes of suits take their lunches in the Ruhlmann patio that looks into Rockefeller Center.
On a recent evening, I devoured a billowy salade niçoise. A bed of delicate Bibb lettuce elevated a mound of tuna, anchovies, haricots verts, tomatoes, eggs, olives, and potatoes to an art form. The salade was simple, but each component was expertly prepared: both fish were glazed with just enough olive oil, haricots had a snap, juicy slices of tomato, creamy hard boiled egg, piquant olives, and potatoes that were fashioned into small medallions.
An addition of basil leaves made for a refreshing bite to balance the saltiness of the olives and anchovies. It is a prefect lunch for ladies who need to dine with the suits but don’t want to wind up with a burger and fries.
Tourondel’s roast chicken, a specialty of the house, though unwieldy on its cast iron platter, makes for a fantastic entrée. Half a chicken is crisped with precision and served with a small salad, broiled tomatoes, and a heap of garlic and rosemary shoestring fries. The meal is hearty without being heavy—completely appropriate for all those summer nights that you’ll be dining on their patio.
I wrangled a few top-secret recipes from the kitchen at Ruhlmann: in case word of the stealthy celeb chef and the European patio breaks too soon and scoring a table requires month-in-advance reservations. Here, the celebrity chef’s delicious salade niçoise and ambrosial roast chicken are revealed.
Thursday, June 28, 2007