La Silhouette (362 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-581-2400)
As you may have heard, Hell’s Kitchen jewel-box of a French restaurant, La Silhouette, has brought on a new star in the kitchen. Matthew Tropeano, who has spent the last 6 years running the kitchen at La Grenouille. has been appointed the new executive chef by owners ( Le Bernardin alums)Sally Chironis and Tito Rahman.
The decor consists of several intimate rooms exploiting a clean, minimalist style with muted colors of gray with bursts of orange, There is a small, cunning bar as you enter and a rather formal space for quiet conversation, leading to a connecting room with banquettes and tables. Further back is a service bar and a more lively sunken main dining room where walls are hung with colorful striped art-work. Bare wood tables are set with mats and upstairs, there is a fourth space with an attached patio that would be perfect for private parties.
If you get the idea La Silhouette has the look/feel of an elegant bistro in Paris or London, you get the picture. Sally and Tito greet customers like old friends and orchestrate a level of caring service seldom seen in New York.
Olive Oil Poached Halibut with a crispy shallot crust, summer succotash and piquillo pepper nage
A recent dinner began with expertly made cocktails accompanied by an amuse buche of truffled potato-leek foam with parsley oil and pickled shitake mushrooms. There is a well selected wine list that is being updated to include more global selections and a range from $60 to $200. Currently, there are good selections in the $60 and under range and about 22 wines by the glass. We took it easy with a white Domaine du Pere Caboche Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc (40% Bourboulenc, 25% Clairette, 25% Grenache Blanc and 10% Rousanne/Picpoul). It was sturdy, well balanced and worked throughout a complex array of exquisitely prepared dishes. Although chef Tropeano offers an ever-changing tasting menu, we went the a la carte route.
We particularly admired such arousing appetizers as delicate VEAL SWEETBREADS with BUTTERNUT SQUASH AGNOLOTTI, PUMPKIN SEEDS and a touch of SAGE and a simple-but-precise play on POACHED FARM EGGS with "TRUFFLED" MASCARPONE POLENTA, OYSTER MUSHROOMS in a rich PORCINI COULIS. Every course in a dinner has its star and our table was unanimous in its raves for a remarkable FOIE GRAS "A LA PLANCHA" paired with CARAMELIZED PEARS, TOASTED HAZELNUTS and a sprinkling of SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Poulet Roti “Avellino,” with braised cannellini beans and kale, tomato confit, lardons and vin cotto jus
Bread is excellent and gives a a needed moment’s rest. before such impeccable entrees as an ethereal BUTTER POACHED LOBSTER & BASS combo surrounded by CELERY ROOT-APPLE "SLAW" & LEEK FONDUE and kissed by an amazing SAUCE AMÉRICAINE. If meat is your partner of the evening, go for the LAMB CHOP & LAMB SHANK CRÉPINETTE (sort of a sausage. encased in fat), BROCCOLI RABE, SWEET POTATOES, FENNEL-LAMB SAUSAGE and ROSEMARY JUS: a wow of a preparation.
Jeff Sytsma’s desserts are as outstanding as the preceding. We adored such really fun plays as POPCORN “CRÈME BRÛLÉE” and CANDIED HONEY CRISP APPLES, CARAMEL POPCORN on SALTY CARAMEL ICE CREAM. Other options include a dense WARM CHOCOLATE TOURTE with CONCORD GRAPE GEL, PEANUT BUTTER POWDER and VANILLA ICE CREAM or a beautiful ARTISANAL CHEESE PLATE with HOUSE MADE BREAD AND JAM. Linger with an after dinner drink and enjoy terrific cookies, candies and closing goodies.
La Silhouette is a restaurant to savor, treasure and enjoy. A little bit of France off 9th Avenue, with a lot of heart and Yes Virginia . . . civilized dining is alive and well. Santé!
Charming Owners: Sally Chironis and Tito Rahman.
Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.
Sample Dinner Menu (Prices and Content Subject to Change)
BELGIAN ENDIVE & WATERCRESS SALAD
ROASTED WALNUTS, GREEN APPLES, BLUE CHEESE DRESSING 13
WARM AUTUMN BEETS AND GOAT CHEESE
HOUSE MADE BACON, PUMPERNICKEL CROUTONS, CARAWAY VINAIGRETTE 15
POACHED FARM EGG
"TRUFFLED" MASCARPONE POLENTA, OYSTER MUSHROOMS, PORCINI COULIS 16
LONG ISLAND FLUKE TARTARE
AMERICAN CAVIAR, CITRUS VINAIGRETTE, POPPY SEED FLATBREAD 18
GRILLED WILD WHITE PRAWNS & RADICCHIO
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUT AND BARLEY SALAD, NAVAL ORANGE-PRAWN EMULSION 19
PÂTÉ DE CAMPAGNE
COUNTRY TERRINE, FOIE GRAS, PISTACHIOS, SOUR CHERRIES 19
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AGNOLOTTI, PUMPKIN SEEDS, SAGE 21
FOIE GRAS "A LA PLANCHA"
CARAMELIZED PEARS, TOASTED HAZELNUTS, SPAGHETTI SQUASH
TRUFFLE OIL, PARMIGIANO 29
ALMOND CRUSTED CHATHAM COD
CAULIFLOWER-PARMESAN PURÉE, ROMESCO SAUCE 33
FRENCH LENTILS, ROOT VEGETABLE JULIENNE, SAFFRON-SHELLFISH BROTH 34
POULET ROTI “AVELLINO”
BRAISED CANNELLINI BEANS & KALE, TOMATO CONFIT, LARDONS, CHICKEN JUS 34
LONG ISLAND DUCK BREAST
FIGS, BABY TURNIPS, CITRUS-SPICED ORGANIC RED RICE, ORANGE-GINGER COULIS 37
FILET & BEEF SHORT RIB
YUKON POTATO PURÉE, ROASTED SHALLOTS, BURGUNDY BEEF JUS 38
BUTTER POACHED LOBSTER & BASS
CELERY ROOT-APPLE "SLAW" & LEEK FONDUE, SAUCE AMÉRICAINE 39
LAMB CHOP & LAMB SHANK CRÉPINETTE
BROCCOLI RABE, SWEET POTATOES, FENNEL-LAMB SAUSAGE, ROSEMARY JUS
POPCORN “CRÈME BRÛLÉE”
CANDIED HONEY CRISP APPLES, CARAMEL POPCORN, SALTY CARAMEL ICE CREAM 12
ROASTED PEAR TARTE TATIN
CANDIED GINGER, SABLE BRETON, LEMON ICE CREAM 12
CRÉME FRAÎCHE TART
BLUEBERRY-TAPIOCA COMPOTE, CHOCOLATE SORBET 12
ICE CREAM & SORBET ASSORTMENT
THREE SCOOPS OF YOUR CHOICE 12
MILK CHOCOLATE TERRINE
COFFEE CREMEAUX, PASSION FRUIT SAUCE, ICE MILK SORBET 14
WARM CHOCOLATE TOURTE
CONCORD GRAPE GEL, PEANUT BUTTER POWDER, VANILLA ICE CREAM
ARTISANAL CHEESE PLATE
HOUSE MADE BREAD AND JAM 15
Executive Chef – Matthew Tropeano
Pastry Chef – Jeff Sytsma
Background and Notes Of Interest
HELL’S KITCHEN DINING SCENE WELCOMES MATTHEW TROPEANO AS NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF OF LA SILHOUETTE
Critically Acclaimed Chef from La Grenouille Debuts New Summer Menu
After a buzz worthy launch back in January, La Silhouette (362 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-581-2400), the beloved French restaurant in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, has quickly become a go-to restaurant for patrons looking for a dining experience complete with impeccable service, sophisticated cuisine and a light hearted atmosphere. With the summer now in full swing, owners Sally Chironis and Tito Rahman are pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Tropeano as the new executive chef. Tropeano, who most recently was awarded 3-stars from New York Times’ critic Sam Sifton while executive chef at famed La Grenouille, brings his passion for bold flavors and quality ingredients to La Silhouette in an exciting and creative new summer menu.
The menu, which debuted August 10, 2011, encompasses Tropeano’s dedication to balancing classic French dishes and fresh seasonal ingredients. Appetizers include Foie Gras a la Plancha, caramelized peaches and toasted almonds, Arugula Salad with prosciutto, figs, pine nuts and fried zucchini blossoms; Veal Sweetbreads with a green olive and caper sauce; and a Poached Farm Egg alongside crisp asparagus, oyster mushrooms and topped with truffle vinaigrette. Patrons will swoon over Tropeano’s signature roasted chicken dish or Poulet Roti “Avellino,” with braised cannellini beans and kale, tomato confit, lardons and vin cotto jus. Additionally entrees include Long Island Duck Breast served with a Swiss chard quinoa “aumônière” with star anise-spiced cherries; Sea Scallops with lentils du Puy, julienne de legumes and saffron mussel broth and a delicate Olive Oil Poached Halibut with a crispy shallot crust, summer succotash and piquillo pepper nage. The bold seasonal ingredients that Tropeano brings to La Silhouette enhance the restaurant’s already well-known ability to fuse impeccable technique with modern touches.
In addition to the new summer menu and a $48 pre-theatre prix fix menu ($65 with wine pairings), La Silhouette also boasts one of Hell’s Kitchen’s preeminent brunch destinations. Diners can choose from a $19 prix-fixe menu that includes a freshly baked bread basket, coffee and selections including: the “BLT & E” sandwich with braised pork belly, heirloom tomatoes, Boston lettuce and a sunny side-up egg; Classic Eggs Benedict with creamed Swiss chard; New England Clam “Chowda” with quahogs, potatoes, black pepper; and Salmon Sauté with lentils du Puy, julienne de legumes and ginger-carrot coulis, to name a few.
La Silhouette’s summer hours offer dinner Sunday from 5:30pm – 9pm, Monday – Thursday from 5:30pm – 10pm and Friday – Saturday from 5:30pm – 11pm. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am – 3pm and lunch will debut in the Fall, along with extended dinner hours. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 212-581-2400 or through OpenTable. For more information, visit their website at http://la-silhouettenyc.com.
Executive Chef, La Silhouette
Executive Chef Matthew Tropeano brings his passionate approach to bold flavors and quality ingredients to La Silhouette, which opened its doors in January 2011 in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. Most recently Tropeano’s culinary expertise was awarded 3-stars from New York Times’ critic Sam Sifton while executive chef at famed La Grenouille.
Tropeano’s culinary career began in 1996 as a busboy in his cousin’s restaurant, Ristorante Primavera in Millis, MA. With a constant eye on the kitchen he worked his way through the ranks and within a year was given the opportunity to step behind the line and cook. During the next five years he absorbed everything he could about the restaurant: from great pasta techniques and bread making from his Aunt Maria, to kitchen management and honing a keen business sense from his cousin Jerry Gaita. Tropeano recalls the number one rule of the restaurant was, “do whatever it takes to please the customer,” and that rule has stuck with him to this day.
In 2000 his passion and drive to achieve culinary excellence led Tropeano to Newbury College, where he was classically trained in the art of French cuisine. While attending school he began working in The Bay Tower Room in Boston, MA and within six months was promoted to sous chef. During his time The Bay Tower Room he was exposed to new ingredients and a variety of international cuisines and as luck would have it, Tropeano also met his now wife, Andrea, who was a server at the restaurant.
In 2002, the Tropeanos moved to Dallas, Texas, where he accepted a job as saucier at Nana Restaurant under Chef David McMillan. There, Tropeano experienced how Chef McMillan simply and thoughtfully prepared impeccable products. A large part of his approach today comes from the short time spent working in Chef David’s kitchen.
After sharpening his skills at Nana, Tropeano moved to New York in 2003. At the end of a short stay at Fiamma, Tropeano took a line cook position at La Grenouille. Just one year later at the young age of 24, Charles Masson, La Grenouille’s owner, saw Tropeano’s potential and made him executive chef of the restaurant. Tropeano dedicated himself to balancing the beloved classic dishes of the restaurant with inspiring seasonal dishes of the moment. His commitment to fresh, quality ingredients led him to the decision to prepare all terrines, confits, charcuteries and pastas in-house.
Tropeano grew up in Randolph, Ma. (Boston’s South Shore) and lives in Secaucus, New Jersey with his wife Andrea and their two children Sophia and Sebastian.
With almost a year under its belt, chic French newcomer La Silhouette (362 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-581-2400), a stunning restaurant located on the cusp of the Theater District and Hell’s Kitchen, has taken home the gold. First, at last week’s 5th Annual Concierge Choice Awards (CCA), hosted by Davler Media’s City Guide and Promenade Magazine, La Silhouette was named “Best New Restaurant” for 2011 over all restaurants in New York City. Fellow finalists included Jean-George Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen, Michael White’s Ai Fiori, and LAVO Italian Restaurant & Nightclub, from the creators of TAO. And now the news comes that Le Bernardin alums Sally Chironis and Tito Rahman’s hot spot has also been highly recognized in the new Zagat New York City Restaurant book for 2012.
Having just hit the presses today, the new 2012 Zagat NYC book recognizes La Silhouette in many of their recommended categories, among them “Key Newcomers,” “Neighborhood Stars,” and “French Bistro”. They are also awarded the coveted “Z”, which refers to restaurants that have received Zagat’s “highest ratings, popularity and importance.” Finally, the restaurant received a remarkable 26 for food, 21 for décor and 25 for service. With a kitchen run by Matthew Tropeano, La Grenouille 3-star alum, and the front of house run by Chironis and Rahman, both of whom come from Le Bernardin, it is no wonder why the food and service were recognized so highly.
“This has been a whirlwind week for us, first having been recognized by our peers at the Concierge Choice Awards for Best New Restaurant. There was some serious competition there and I could not believe it when they announced that La Silhouette had won,” said Sally Chironis. “And now to be given the credibility we so hoped for in the highly popular Zagat guidebook, we couldn’t be happier. Here’s hoping people come by to help celebrate in our joy because at the end of the day that’s what we’re all about – inviting people into our ‘home’ and providing an impeccable dining experience for the customer.”
The Concierge Choice Awards honor the premier individuals and businesses in the New York City visitor/service industries for their unparalleled service. Chosen by the New York City Association of Hotel Concierges, these awards are held annually and are highly selective.
La Silhouette is located at 363 West 53rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues and is open 7 days a week for lunch (Monday – Friday), dinner Sunday – Saturday and weekend brunch (Saturday & Sunday). La Silhouette also recently launched delivery through seamless web. For reservations or more information call 212-581-2400 or visit http://www.la-silhouettenyc.com.