The NoMad: Daniel Humm’s “less fancy” approach to his food

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Dear Food Diary:
Chef Daniel Humm’s second restaurant is one of the most anticipated and talked about new openings. I finally dined at his highly rated Eleven Madison Park a couple weeks ago and so with my taste memory still fresh, I just had to try The NoMad.

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ChubbyBuddies and I met last Wednesday for an early 5:45pm reservation. Tucked inside the swanky hotel, the open and airy Atrium had natural lighting and this warm old school charm with a sexy modern twist. We were first seated right outside their Library Bar/Lounge, which was pretty happening and loud. Thankfully, they were quite accommodating when I requested the nicer, more intimate booth on the side.

Since this is a popular place to grab drinks, we started with cocktails.
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VELVET COBBLER amontillado sherry, riesling, lemon verbena
Had a really medicine like aftertaste. The riesling was completely overpowered. Our waitress didn’t even hesitate to offer me another choice

MORNING GLORY FIZZ scotch, absinthe, lemon, egg white
For my second drink, I choose something safe. I’m a fan of egg white in my drinks, it gives it that frothy feel, like the milk foam on a cappuccino. Not sweet, this had a good balance. Though definitely not very memorable.

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When the bread arrived, we all smiled (and drooled). Warm cheesy zucchini bread (using seasonal ingredients). Loved the crisp crust and soft chewy center with just the right amount of saltiness from the cheese. The zucchini is subtle and left a very delicate hint of sweetness. We finished one and they brought another… pure joy!

APPETIZERS

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EGG poached with asparagus, quinoa & parmesan ($17)
I had a hard time deciding between the Egg and Bone Marrow (same price). Our waitress highly recommended the egg since my entree had bone marrow, I took her suggestion. I wasn’t too sure I wanted quinoa, but these “crunchy” ones were fantastic. It added a nice texture to the spoon licking dish. This was like a fancy day at the farm. The 63° Egg at Rogue is still my favorite, but this one is on my list of great egg dishes.

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TROUT smoked with cucumber, buttermilk & rye ($18)
Very clean and summery. Bright flavors, salty and creamy. I enjoyed my bite, my ChubbyBuddie really liked it.

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TAGLIATELLE king crab, meyer lemon & black pepper ($19)
I love that intense fragrance meyer lemons give, but here, it was used too generously. The acidity took over the simple dish. My least favorite of the three.

 

ENTREES

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BEEF bone marrow and brioche crusted with baby leeks, royal trumpet mushrooms  ($37)
The beef was very juicy, almost like sous-vide kind of tender. Great flavors in the crispy chard leeks and mushrooms along that luscious and deep au jus. The bone marrow part however, was sort of lost, which was disappointing.
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I was really looking forward to more crust and more bone marrow, but instead, only one of the 2 pieces had it, plus it was a bit soggy. It should of said “topped with” and not crusted in my opinion. In the end, the dish was pretty good, but I might have ordered the bone marrow appetizer to get my bone marrow fix.

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SCALLOPS seared with sorrel, lemon & maitake mushrooms ($28)
Perfectly seared scallops. Plump and meaty. Buttery and naturally sweet. I love maitake mushrooms and how they are intensely fragrant yet absorb flavors really well. That umami enhances everything. The lemon and sorrel added some much needed acidity and brightened it beautifully. The crumble tasted seaweed like, a nice crunch in each bite.

 

DESSERT

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CHOCOLATE tart with caramel, sorbet & fleur de sel ($14)
Being the dark chocolate lover that I am, this was love at first bite. Buttery crisp, deep intense dark chocolate and a pinch of that hand-harvested sea salt. Creamy caramel and streusel crumbles. Satisfying without being overly sweet. 

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HERBAL & TISANE Elderflower ($7)
Hot tea after a big meal is a must for me. Each hot sip is a comforting rub to my tummy.

Overall it was a solid meal without being over the top. Not every day could I sit through an elaborate multi-course at his 3 Michelin Star Eleven Madison Park (nor would my bank account be able to support it), but at NoMad, Chef Humm echos those flavors, in a more accessible manner.

I see myself becoming a “regular” here. This is an excellent choice for a nice dinner date with that special someone or just friends. I can’t wait to try their whole roasted chicken with foie gras and truffle.

For the season, they have opened their rooftop with a $125 – 6 course tasting menu, which is now on top of my list again.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 4

www.thenomadhotel.com
1170 Broadway (28th st)
212.796.1500

The NoMad on Urbanspoon