The big-box room of Gabriel Kreuther—the restaurant, not the man—is situated on the ground floor of the Grace Building, is too comfortably cream-toned to be considered “cool,” fixed with timber barn beams and folky stork wallprints evocative of the Alsatian farm country where Gabriel Kreuther—the man, not the restaurant—hails.
But Kreuther isn’t concerned with cool, nor should he be. Fresh off an acclaimed decade at Danny Meyer’s MoMA restaurant, the Modern, the veteran chef joins the grand pantheon of name-bearing flagships—the Daniels, the Jean-Georges—with cooking that’s as personal as it is precise. Regulars of the Modern will recognize the ribbons of smoke that entangle Kreuther’s famed tarteflambée in the copper-trimmed front lounge and his sturgeon-sauerkraut tart in the back dining room, hotboxed in a glass cloche with applewood haze.
But Kreuther doesn’t pander with mere greatest hits. Instead, he turns out visually arresting dishes, such as a ceviche of raw diver scallops in a moat of brightening jalapeño coulis with black radish curls and crispy tempura crumbles. The whole gorgeous thing is plated on a crystal bowl perched atop a matching pedestal, a rightful setting.
You’d be remiss to pass on another of Kreuther’s signatures, the years-perfected croustillante of squab and sautéed foie gras, wrapped in cabbage and flaky feuille de brick. People don’t eat like this anymore, but, boy, they should.