Atera

I first heard about Ronny Emborg a few years ago when I was having a treat yo' self moment at Kitchen Arts and Letters in the Upper East Side. I wanted to get something special for myself, but I could not decide on a book. One of the owners suggested The Wizard's Cookbook, and his description had all the words guaranteed to push me into impulse buy mode: import, Danish, can't find on Amazon, only printing, last shipment we are expected to get from the publisher. Ever. I immediately bought two copies. The photography was so stunning that I only needed a couple glances to know that it would be perfect. And it was.

Flash forward a year or so, and it's announced that Ronny Emborg is going to be taking over the kitchen at Atera. Finally, the chance to be able to taste his food that I'd been hangry-ing* myself over was within reach. But as it turned out, I didn't end up eating there until this past August. Let me tell you, through all the wait and hype and anticipation, it was even better than I thought it would be.

The amuse bouche that usually begin a tasting menu are, to me, like the opening band at a concert. You didn't go there to see them, and frankly, you don't even know who they are. But they're lovely (hopefully) and now you're amped up for the main act. However, at Atera, those first few bites were Michael Phelps-ing their way out of the starting gate. With that first taste, you immediately know that he is not messing around. And from there, they just kept waltzing their way out of the park, dish after dish. Normally for such a long menu, I have clear favorite dishes - it's only natural - but I can honestly say that I loved every single bite of this meal. I guess that I know now why they call him the wizard.

*hangry-ing oneself- the act of looking at or reading about food that you can't eat, thereby entering a state of angsty, unsatisfiable hangriness. "Ugh, I spent all night reading restaurant menus from foreign places, and now I'm starving. But that sole loaf of bread that I have in my apartment will never taste like what I want to eat. I guess I'll just starve."

Recommended Listening: the Black Keys' Gold on the Ceiling because it was one of the songs that they played while I was there and cause, ya know, you want that real Atera experience. 

Lemon and Juniper (a contrast in temperatures with cold ice on the bottom and hot foam on top)

Lemon and Juniper (a contrast in temperatures with cold ice on the bottom and hot foam on top)

From the temperance pairing: and alcohol-free 'Nogroni' made of juniper sap 'gin', quinine 'campari', and sultana 'vermouth'

From the temperance pairing: and alcohol-free 'Nogroni' made of juniper sap 'gin', quinine 'campari', and sultana 'vermouth'

Nova Scotia Lobster poached in Brown Butter with a Celeriac and Yuzu Purée and Lobster Bouillon. Served with a Lobster and Camomile Bisque 'tea'

Nova Scotia Lobster poached in Brown Butter with a Celeriac and Yuzu Purée and Lobster Bouillon. Served with a Lobster and Camomile Bisque 'tea'

While I didn't take pictures of the other drinks from the temperance pairing, here is the full list of drinks:

'Champine' made with douglas fir

Grapefruit 'martini' with lemon verbena

Cucumber 'fizz' with lime and seaweed

Nogroni

'Cote de Beet': beet juice with thyme oil

Milkshake: an effervescent milkshake of yuzu and green almond
(This has ruined milkshakes for me. I was trying to get every last drop and was about to resort to asking for a small spoon when someone took my glass away - probably to save me from more shame. Ha, the milkshake version of getting cut off at the bar.)

Date: August 2016
Camera: Canon 6D