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Charlie Palmer Steak House in New York Review - Watch Chef Ryan Lory Go

By morton hochstein

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Chef Ryan Lory has set himself an ambitious goal. “I’m 28 years old,” he told us the other night, “and I hope to earn a Michelin star by the age of 30.”

 

 That gives him just two years and knowing the rigorous requirements of the Michelin inspectors, he’s aiming high.  Lory, recently appointed executive chef of Charlie Palmer Steak House in New York, has been demonstrating his techniques and talent in a revised bill of fare and a challenging Chef’s Tasting menu since his appointment earlier this year.

Chef Lory

 

 “Ryan,” says Charlie Palmer, “is one of those chefs with a natural raw talent. Couple that with his insane drive to succeed and you’ve got the potential for a real powerhouse chef.  He’s one to watch.”   Palmer’s restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, Reno, San Francisco and Sonoma have been gateways for many of today’s acclaimed chefs, including Michael Mina of California, the Voltaggio brothers, Bryan and Michael, and recent Top Chef runner-up Amar Santana.

 

Chef Lory takes the new post with impressive credits. For the past two years, he has been sous chef at Palmer’s steakhouse in midtown Manhattan. Prior to joining Palmer in 2014, Lory had worked at the Big Canyon Country Club in New Port Beach, Ca., and had operated his own restaurant, Bistro Rylo, in Oakhurst, New Jersey. Most recently he appeared on the Food Network’s “Chopped” program.

 

Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut

 

 

Though Charlie Palmer Steak in New York is primarily a chomping ground for carnivores, Lory has been quick to develop the piscatorial listings.  The restaurant already sells more seafood and fish than any of New York’s burgeoning steakhouses.  For his early spring menu, he inaugurated both a catch and a crudo of the day, which enables him  to experiment with the best of the day’s fish haul. Recently he created a chorizo encrusted Icelandic Cod with cannellini beans, avocado mousse and Madeira reduction.  To appease the restaurant’s meat- eaters, he introduced a 10-ounce Wagyu Ribeye steak and seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with French toast, pickled green strawberries and rhubarb and strawberry jam.  Lory’s new menu will be ever changing with rich items from his vendors and finds from the city’s greenmarkets.

 

Charlie Palmer Steak House in New York

 

 

This being a steak house, we might very well have camped in the meat columns, but instead we let Lory show his chops with a five course Chef’s Tasting Menu, which, at $95, is a good buy that changes nightly.

 

 

 

 His starter, on first look, was a disappointment, a handful of minuscule nibbles on a small plate. But on tasting from its colorful palate, we understood Lory’s design, giving a tantalizing sample of varying flavors, a prelude to what would follow.  There was a reminder of the sea, a briny sliver of Spanish mackerel, sharing that plate with a thimbleful of hackleback caviar, and Spanish beets and pomegranate, all small, all making for a colorful palate.

 

 

Charlie Palmer

 

He followed with a nice sized portion of poached Alaskan halibut with beurre blanc and a smattering of tiny clams,   swimming in a clam flavored broth. I tried to reproduce that dish at home, but lacking Lory’s skill as well as caviar, I settled for halibut in a lemon-flavored fish broth. Not bad, but hardly restaurant quality.

 

 

 

Two butcher block items, small and shaped like miniature reproductions of steamer trunks, followed. One was a Louisiana style boudin noir and the other a log of Snake River pork belly, topped by a quail egg. I’ve never appreciated boudin, generally too salty and too fatty in New Orleans or New York, and don’t see myself ever ordering that dish, even with the tantalizing quail egg that topped the pork belly.

 

 

 

Pleasure arrived with the fourth course, four pan broiled slices of Long Island duck breasts, mated with chanterelles and sauced with duck jus.  I would return for the perfection and visual appeal  of that duck plate.

 

Red Tag Burger

 

 

Lory continued his swing of main courses with what he called oxtail mezza Luna, looking like ravioli to my jaded eyes, accompanied by ramps and white asparagus. This was a true representation of spring, in eye appeal and flavors.

 

 

 

As if the duck breast was not enough to mollify a carnivore, Lory brought up the heavy guns with roasted veal tenderloin, fried onions and confit sun chokes. Again he had melded flavors and colors into a seasonal specialty and done all that without superficial add-ons, as so often happens when a chef is given free rein.

 

Clams Casino

 

And finally, without superfluous ornamentation, he brought the meal to a happy ending with a key lime pie, a standard in steak houses, often without taste. This had true color and strong lime flavoring, a  fine final  offering on a venturesome chef’s tasting menu. About Lory’s projection of a Michelin star in two years, he shows the flair and daring so appreciated by Charlie Palmer and I’d say he’s off to a good start.

 

Charlie Palmer website

ADDRESS
Charlie Palmer Steak NY
5 East 54th Street
New York, NY 10022
Map | Directions | Contact | Facebook

PHONE
Reservations: 646.559.8440
Private Events: 646.559.8664

Hours

Lunch: Monday – Friday; 11:45am - 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday – Friday; 4:45pm - 11:00pm; Saturday, 4:00pm - 11:00pm
Bar: Monday – Friday; 11:45am - Close; Saturday, 4:00pm - Close
Closed Sundays

 

 

 

Photos:  Georgina Richardson

Published on Apr 20, 2016

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