Treasuring Every Infinitesimal Bite
The food at New York’s Musket Room is “ambitious and meticulously detailed”, New York Times correspondent Ligaya Mishan writes in a review of the restaurant, which opened in Nolita in June. Owned by Aucklander Matt Lambert and his wife, Barbara, Lambert imports all-natural liquorice from New Zealand, as well as “tender and mild” venison “from young red deer raised on a farm north of Wellington by one of his relatives.”
“Pork smoked over Manuka wood (indigenous to New Zealand) takes on a carnal sweetness, heightened by a tart chutney of Hidden Rose apples and Cognac. Blanched sea beans snake through shredded smoked scallops blotted with black garlic. Even a simple pat of butter gets a dusting of sea salt and Manuka ash.
“As it turns out, Lambert works best in miniature.
“When the appetisers arrive, you may feel that you’ve landed in Lilliput. Order quail and you receive exactly half the bird: one tiny, perfect breast, cooked swiftly in foie gras butter, and one tiny, perfect leg, simmered in stock and deep-fried. A wintry British bread sauce (a holdover from the Middle Ages that is essentially béchamel with herbs and crumbled bread) has been solidified, puréed and painted in three skinny swoops on the plate. I treasured every infinitesimal bite.”