Restaurant Latour Makes New Jersey Proud

Restaurant Latour Makes New Jersey Proud

Photo by Crystal Springs Resort

Photo by Crystal Springs Resort

For those of you who have visited the incredible 75,000-bottle wine cellar at Crystal Springs Resort, you’ll agree it’s difficult to comprehend the unmatched selection without witnessing it. Equally as outstanding is the culinary program at Restaurant Latour, the refined restaurant at Crystal Springs where Chef de Cuisine Martyna Krowicka crafts creative and delectable dishes under the direction of Head Chef Anthony Bucco. The sophisticated restaurant has again in 2016 been recognized by a number of top wine publications in the US and abroad for its outstanding fine wine collection, including Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and UK’s The World of Fine Wine.

Wine Enthusiast America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants

Perhaps most impressive is Restaurant Latour being named as one of Wine Enthusiast “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” for the third year running. Why is that particular award so impressive, you might ask? Restaurant Latour is the only New Jersey restaurant to make the list, which is published in the magazine’s August 2016 issue, joining the ranks of such esteemed restaurants as Per Se, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Le Bernardin, among others. See the mention and gorgeous photos here: http://www.winemag.com/100-Best-Wine-Restaurants-2016/Restaurant-Latour

The World of Fine Wine Three Stars

The World of Fine Wine, the prestigious international wine publication for serious wine aficionados and collectors, has also recognized Restaurant Latour third year running as having one of the world’s best wine lists. For the 2016 “World’s Best Wine Lists,” the magazine’s editors and a group of international wine experts reviewed over 4,500 wine lists from around the world to come up with just over 800 honorees. Restaurant Latour’s wine list was awarded three stars – the highest honor (the ratings are 1, 2 and 3 stars). Restaurant Latour was additionally awarded a Jury Prize, given “at the nomination of individual senior judges, but subject to the approval of the jury as a whole, these prizes recognize wine lists that show distinctive character and flair, offer exceptionally good value, or were particularly strong in a specific wine style. See the award mentioned here: http://www.worldoffinewine.com/WineListAwardsSearch/RestaurantDetails/2016/restaurant-latour

Wine Spectator Grand Award

Restaurant Latour has once again been awarded Wine Spectator’s prestigious top honor Grand Award, which it has held since 2006 – only 88 restaurants in the world hold the award. Wine Spectator gives its wine list awards to about 3,600 restaurant around the world in three categories from the lowest Award of Excellence to Best of Award of Excellence to Grand Award. See the award mentioned here: https://restaurants.winespectator.com/restaurant/1050/restaurant-latour

Congrats to the Crystal Springs cellar and Restaurant Latour teams – making us proud in the Garden State.

Cheers,

Veronique

Valentine’s Day at Crystal Springs Resort

Valentine’s Day at Crystal Springs Resort

Crystal Springs Resort will be catering to guests of all types with various dining experiences at its many restaurants for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Restaurant Latour

Executive Chef Anthony Bucco has created a tantalizing 7-course tasting menu that will be served at the jewel-box like Restaurant Latour on both Saturday February 13th and Sunday February 14th ($165, $225 with wine pairing). The guests will enjoy the elegant setting and view, along with superb service and menu that will showcase decadent ingredients such as oysters, black truffles, caviar, uni and wagyu beef. The full menu is below.

The Wine Cellar

Couples can also opt to have a rare dining experience in the renowned Wine Cellar’s Bordeaux Room on February 14th at 7pm. Surrounded by verticals of wine from the storied houses of Bordeaux, the centerpiece of Crystal Spring’s award-winning 135,000 bottle wine collection, guests will enjoy a luxurious five-course menu ($150, $195 with wine pairing). The menu features Fluke Crudo with cara cara orange and poppy seed; Foie Gras Torchon; and Lamb with sweet potato and black truffle.

Crystal Tavern

On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th, Crystal Tavern’s 5-course menu ($85, $120 with wine pairing) will feature Wagyu Beef Tartare with black truffles; Tenderloin of Beef with parsnip and brussels sprouts; and Muscovy Duck with turnips and lentils. The a la carte menu will also be available.

Springs Bistro

The menu at Springs Bistro ($75, $115 with wine pairing) will feature the flavors of Northern Italy with dishes like Chestnut Soup; Tagliatelle with saffron; Orechiette with hazelnuts and winter squash; and Duck Breast with mushrooms and polenta. The Valentine’s Day menu will be served from Friday the 12th through Sunday the 14th.

Kites at Minerals Resorts & Spa

Kites at Minerals Resort & Spa will serve a 4-course menu ($75, $110 with wine pairing) in addition to the regular a la carte menu. Dishes include Steak Carpaccio with shaved black truffles; Prosciutto-wrapped Lobster Tail; and Stuffed Roasted Squab with quinoa and squash. The prix fixe will be available Saturday the 13th from 5pm – 10pm and Sunday the 14th from 5pm – 9pm.

Reservations can be made by calling 844-207-3203.

Cheers,

Veronique

Christmas at Crystal Springs Resort

Christmas at Crystal Springs Resort

Image by Crystal Springs Resort.

Image by Crystal Springs Resort.

The holidays are right around the corner and there aren’t many more festive places to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day than at Crystal Springs. The resort will be offering three options for dinner at the restaurants of the Grand Cascades Lodge (1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, NJ).

Restaurant Latour

A five-course menu will feature luxury ingredients to indulge in: truffles, foie gras, chestnuts, lamb and more. Dinner starts with Amberjack Crudo with toasted pecans and blood oranges, followed by Acquerello Risotto topped with white truffles. Hudson Valley Foie Gras is accompanied by spice bread and quince, while Saddle of Lamb is served with endive, olives and herb jus. For dessert, Roasted Chestnuts are paired with caramelized white chocolate, bitter chocolate sponge and preserved cherries. (The regular 5-course menu will also be available.) Restaurant Latour will be open 3pm – 9pm on Christmas Eve and 3pm – 7pm on Christmas Day. ($125, $190 with wine pairing)

Crystal Tavern

Crystal Tavern will offer a three-course menu ($65, $94 with wine pairing) featuring Shrimp and Grits with red eye gravy, Rib Roast with Yorkshire pudding and spinach, and a Yule Log with chestnut cream. Crystal Tavern will serve this special menu from 5pm – 10pm Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The a la carte menu will also be available from 11am to 10pm each day.

Springs Bistro

Springs Bistro will serve a four-course menu inspired by the Feast of the Seven Fishes ($69, $98 with wine pairing). A Seafood Salad of shrimp, tuna, cuttlefish, squid and octopus is an aquatic feast while Roasted Branzino is accompanied by fennel, olives and arugula. For dessert, a rich Budino is served with whiskey cherries. Springs Bistro will be open 3pm to 8pm on Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day. The regular a la carte menu will also be available.

Reservations can be made by calling 844-207-3203. For more information and online menus: http://www.crystalgolfresort.com/dine/holidays/christmas-holiday-weekends/

Cheers,

Veronique

 

Foraging and Dining Events at Crystal Springs Resort

Foraging and Dining Events at Crystal Springs Resort

Crystal Springs Resort is hosting two events showcasing local foragers and a local brewery in August. The first event, Foraging Trip & Dinner, takes place on 8/16 and the second, Angry Erik Brewery Dinner, happens on 8/20. The Crystal Springs Chef’s Garden, a wood-fire outdoor restaurant surrounded by a lush one-acre organic garden, will be the location of both dinners (see a recent article I wrote on the gorgeous Chef’s Garden).

8/16 Foraging Trip and Dinner

NJ Chanterelles

NJ Chanterelles

Crystal Springs Executive Chef, Anthony Bucco, works closely with Sarah Berman and Corey Finck of Sussex County foragers to bring locally-foraged goods to the resort’s Restaurant Latour twice each week. On 8/16, guests will be able to participate in a foraging expedition with Chef Bucco and the folks at Sussex County Foragers. Upon returning from foraging, guests with make their way to the Chef’s Garden to enjoy cocktails and canapés prepared with ingredients foraged on the trip, This will then be followed by a four-course dinner by Chef Bucco paired with local wines.

Foragers Dinner Menu

Chanterelles/ NJ Corn / Basil

Lubina/ Plankton / Purslane

Mangalitsa Pig/ Wood Sorrel / Stone Fruit

Chocolate/ Anise Hyssop / Wine Berries

The foraging trip and dinner costs $115 including food, wine and transportation to the foraging location and back to Crystal Springs (tax & gratuity additional). Foraging trip begins at 4pm followed by dinner at 7pm. Reservations can be made by calling 855-977-6473.

8/20 Angry Erik Brewing When We Were Kings Dinner

On 8/20, Crystal Springs will host a dinner showcasing Angry Erik Brewing beers in the Chef’s Garden. The dinner will feature seven different beers including The Dainty Viking, an elderflower blonde ale; Hop-n-Awe double IPA; and Mary Shroom, a mushroom and rosemary saison.

The event will begin at 6pm with passed canapés and cocktails made with Angry Erik beers, followed by a four-course, beer-paired dinner crafted by Chef Anthony Bucco.

Angry Erik “When We Were Kings Dinner” Menu

Heirloom Grains – tomatoes / cucumbers / dill (Paired with Angry Erik Two– Shoe Brew, Copper Ale)

Day-Boat Scallops – grapefruit / coriander / corn (Paired with Angry Erik Hop-n-Awe)

 Roasted Duck – mushrooms / pine / wild blueberries (Paired with Angry Erik Mary Shroom)

Chocolate – coffee / yogurt / lavender (Paired with Angry Erik Freaky Freydis)

Dinner costs $65, inclusive of food and beer tastings. Reservations can be made by calling 855-977-6473.

Cheers,

Veronique

5/20 Husic Vineyards Wine Dinner at Restaurant Latour‏

5/20 Husic Vineyards Wine Dinner at Restaurant Latour‏

Crystal Springs Resort’s Restaurant Latour will host Husic Vineyards’s Co-Founder, Frank Husic, for what will surely be a memorable dinner on Wednesday May 20th

husic_logoDinner will begin in the spectacular Wine Cellar at 6:30pm with passed canapés and 2010 Domaine Carneros Brut sparkling wine. Dinner will follow at 7:30pm at Restaurant Latour.

Anthony Bucco, Chef of Restaurant Latour, will be serving a four-course menu featuring spring ingredients. 

Blonde Morels, Ramps, Gnocchi & Meyer Lemon is spring in a bowl with ramp gnocchi, braised morels, pickled ramps and foraged greens. Paring – 2013 Husic Chardonnay.

Squab will be served two ways – seared breast and leg confit – accompanied by macerated cherries and Sicilian pistachio puree. Pairing – 2013 Husic Pinot Noir.

Mishima Rib-Eye, finest American wagyu with hay smoked fingerling potatoes and Blue Ledge Farms Middlebury Blue cheese, tarragon and bone marrow butter, will be paired with two Cabernet Sauvignons. Pairing – 2012 Husic Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Palm Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon.

Strawberries Textures: shortbread crumble with strawberry granita, foam and dehydrated berries. Pairing – 2012 Husic Late Harvest Semillon.

The Husic Wine Dinner is $149 inclusive of wine (tax and gratuity additional). Reservations can be made by calling (855) 421-2170.

Cheers,

Veronique

Restaurant Latour Launches Sunday Brunch

Restaurant Latour Launches Sunday Brunch

Photo Credit Geoff Mottram

Photo Credit Geoff Mottram

For the first time in the restaurant’s history, Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort (One Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg NJ) is offering Sunday brunch (11am – 3pm). 

Jean Paul Lourdes, the new Chef de Latour, has created a lavish multi-course brunch featuring a abundance of baked goods, brunch and savory dishes, organic coffee brewed to order and fresh juices.

The meal begins with a parade of freshly-baked pastries like pistachio madeleines and aged cheddar scones that are served in a progression during the meal for the table. The pastries are served alongside various breads and housemade preserves and spreads. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in the price of the brunch.

The menu is composed of small and large dishes and guests can choose between the Petite Tasting ($55 for any two plates from a selection of small and large dishes) or the Grand Tasting ($75 for any three dishes). The small dishes feature grains and fruits like the Sicilian blood oranges with saffron and the quinoa with victorian pineapple and poppy seeds. The large dishes feature organic scrambled eggs with Scottish smoked salmon, a dungeness crab omelet with peas and brie, a Swedish sandwich with slices of roast pork with fennel and harissa and a 45-day dry-aged New York Strip Steak with creamed spinach.

Chef Jean Paul Lourdes

Chef Jean Paul Lourdes

Chef Lourdes offers freshly-made juices, squeezed to order, and housemade sodas with flavors like bing cherry and yuzu or wild ginger and Meyer lemon. There is also a special selection of champagne by the glass, including Krug Grand Cuvee and Ruinart Brut Rose, as well as brunch cocktails such as a Bloody Mary or Mojito, can be enjoyed as well (alcoholic beverages are additional).

Reservations for brunch can be made by calling 973-827-5996 ext. 3.

I had an opportunity to sample the menu a few weeks back as it was being created and pampered is how guests will feel with the whole experience.

Cheers,

Veronique

Restaurant Latour’s New Chef – Jean Paul Lourdes

Restaurant Latour’s New Chef – Jean Paul Lourdes

Chef Jean Paul Lourdes

Chef Jean Paul Lourdes

Crystal Springs Resort’s Restaurant Latour has a new chef – Jean Paul Lourdes. Chef Lourdes has broad kitchen experience having cooked in some of the world’s finest kitchens. A New Zealand native, Lourdes was carefully recruited to create a menu featuring food that will complement the wines of Latour’s award-winning cellar.

Having worked at Pierre Gagnaire’s Michelin 3-star restaurant in Paris, Maison Pic in Paris, Joël Robuchon in Tokyo, Tetsuya in Sydney, several Shangri-La Hotels, Nihonryori-Ryugin in Tokyo and having done recipe development at Buddakan and Morimoto, Lourdes’ global experience changes the vibe at Restaurant Latour.

Chef Lourdes has created two tasting menus, a protein-focused “Grazing” and a vegetarian “Farmer’s Feast”, both available as five and seven course options, with or without wine pairings.

Chef Lourdes inspects every ingredient that is sourced daily and creates the day’s menu based on the freshest finds. 

Here is the March Restaurant Latour menu:

alliums / argan oil / barrel aged maple

borage / bonito / black garlic / celeriac

chanterelle / cinnamon / chrysanthemum

cultured cream / dandelion / duck

egyptian chamomile / emerald

earl grey tea / finger lime / fuchsia grapefruit / green-onion / horseradish honey comb / kinome / lavender

licorice / local milk / meyer lemon mushrooms / mexican tarragon

nasturtiums / olive / olive oil

organic hay / penny royal / pepper

pok pok vinegar / radish /root beer

rose apple / russian banana / salsify

succulents / sough dough / scallop

sea bream / salted butter / sheep’s milk

truffle / walnut / whey / yuzu

Restaurant Latour is located at 3 Wild Turkey Road in Hamburg, NJ.  For reservations, classes and more information call 973-827-5996 ext. 3 or visit http://crystalgolfresort.com

Cheers,

Veronique

My Top 10 New Jersey Dishes of 2013

My Top 10 New Jersey Dishes of 2013

Seafood Risotto - HAVEN

Seafood Risotto – HAVEN

While I’ve had many, many memorable meals in 2013 (God knows I over-share), I’ve tried to narrow down the 10 best dishes I enjoyed during the past year. Here’s the list in restaurant name alphabetical order.

Duck, Knoephla and Eggs – A Toute Heure

The Knoephla dish showcases a generous portion of rich pulled duck confit, Knoephla, a German dumpling much like Spaetzle and a New Jersey farm-fresh egg.

Sweetbreads and Crispy Bone Marrow - Escape

Sweetbreads and Crispy Bone Marrow – Escape

Sweetbreads with Crispy Bone Marrow – Escape Montclair

Sweetbreads, Pea Purée, Crispy Marrow, Chanterelles and Grape Juice. Simply an amazing dish. The sweetbreads were tender and perfectly cooked and Chef Gregg was truly gilding the lily with the addition of crispy bone marrow. The best bone marrow I’ve had.

Moules Meunière – Fricassée

The portion of mussels is gigantic and offers a very flavorful white wine, garlic and cherry tomato saucy broth bursting with thyme, basil and mint flavors.

Fluke Crudo - The Ryland Inn

Fluke Crudo – The Ryland Inn

Seafood Risotto – HAVEN Riverfront Restaurant & Bar

Seafood Risotto with Riso Venere, Lobster, Sea Scallops, Shrimps, Sea Beans, Sweet Corn and Mascarpone. The black rice contrasted beautifully with the rich broth and perfectly-cooked seafood.

Combination Kabab Platter – Kabab Paradise

The flavorful dish is comprised of a chicken breast kabab, a beef kufta kabab and a lamb tikka kabab. The meats are moist and perfectly charcoal-grilled. The white accompanying sauce is addicting.

Rabbit - Restaurant Latour

Rabbit – Restaurant Latour

Pork Belly Ramen – Mitsuwa

The ramen bowl features pork belly and hen-of-the-wood mushrooms. The ramen noodles are cooked perfectly, just a bit chewy, and the pork-laced broth is out-of-this-world.

Loin of Young Rabbit – Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs

Loin of Young Rabbit Roulade with Belly Confit and Sweet White Onion Jus. Tender loin, rich belly and tart jus.

Crescent Duck Breast – The Orange Squirrel

The duck was rare as ordered with a masterly-rendered, crisp skin and paired with earthy carrot quinoa.

Duck - The Orange Squirrel

Duck – The Orange Squirrel

Fluke Crudo – The Ryland Inn

Fluke Crudo, Summer Melons, Heirloom Tomatoes, Garden Herbs. Just the perfect summer starter with fresh, clean flavors.

House-Made Ricotta Gnudi – VB3 Restaurant

The wonderful Gnudi are pillowy-soft and served with a light, basil-infused tomato sauce.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these dishes and leave a comment when you do in the new year!

Cheers,

Veronique

5-Course Highlands Menu at Restaurant Latour in Northern NJ

Wanted to share this amazing value from Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner, Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs:

New! 5-Course Highlands Menu Paired With Wine

Local Farmed John Dory Vermicelli
Nature Valley Swiss Chard, Root Vegetable Saffron Sauce
Union Home Chardonnay, Unionville, New Jersey, 2008

Vernon Valley Suckled Grass Fed Veal
Appaloosa Bean And Black Dirt Onion Cassoulet

Plaid Piper Farm Smoked Chicken Dumplings
Crystal Springs Tomato Fondue, Parmesan Broth, Basil Oil
Cam Jam #1, Pinot Noir & Chambercin, Unionville, New Jersey, 2008

Bobolink Farm Aged Cheddar
Rosemary Poached Winter Fruits
Port, Vat #15, Unionville, New Jersey, NV

Pan Fried Tomkins Apples
Nutmeg Ice Cream, Cinnamon Tuile
Vat #15 Port Wine Sabayon

$85 Per Person*
Reservations Required ~ 973.827.5996, Ext. 3

Chef de Cuisine ~ John Benjamin
Sommelier ~ Susanne Lerescu

*Prices Do Not Include Applicable Tax & Gratuity. Member discounts do not apply.
Restaurant Latour ~ One Wild Turkey Way, Hardyston, NJ 07419 ~ 973.827.5996, Ext. 3