A 50th Birthday Party – The Four Seasons

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The Four Seasons Co-owner Julian Niccolini under the Picasso

When a restaurant with the pedigree and history of the Four Seasons in NYC has a 50th birthday party and one is lucky enough to be invited, one is likely to make every effort to get there.  Driving down from upstate NY for the evening, my wife and I certainly  did and so did approximately one thousand others including many legends of the culinary world, including people that I knew or recognized such as Drew Nieporent, Ruth Reichl, George and Jenifer Lang, Michael Lomonaco and others. Aside from those I recognized, there was sufficient sartorial splendor to suggest that the Four Seasons reputation as a bastion of the wealthy and powerful is not just history. From the perspective of people watching alone, the evening was fascinating and worthwhile.

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Thankfully, people watching wasn't the only benefit to the evening. With plenty of champagne and other libations flowing from the open bars and hors d'ouvres making their way around the rooms, good food and drink were flowing. The list of hors d'ouvres included:

Lobster Summer Truffle
Sausage                             

Spring Rabbit Oven
Dried Tomato Sausage

Spicy Octopus Ceviche
Merken Olive Oil                 

Passion Fruit Razor
Clam Ceviche

Foie Gras Macaroon
with Rose Petal Jam                

Olympia
Oysters, Cucumber Salsa, Hibiscus Salt   

Chilled Sweet Pea
Soup, Chanterelle Foam             

Aleppo
Spiced Loin of Lamb, Yogurt Sauce

American
Wagu Pigs in Blanket                               

Wild Salmon Confit,
Vegetable Cones

Cocktail Avocados,
Smoked Salmon, Vegetable Cones        

Mini Saba
burgers, Onion Confit, Wasabi Mayonnaise

Old Bay
Crabmeat Cake Sliders                               

Blackened Snapper,
Jalapeno Banana Curry

Steamed Pork Buns amongst others.

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While all were tasty,the favorite of the evening for both my wife and I was the Olympia
Oysters, Cucumber Salsa, Hibiscus Salt. The cucumber salsa provided an unexpected pleasant contrast to the brininess of the oysters.
While I usually prefer oysters served simply with a squeeze of lemon, I could have eaten these all night. The ceviches were also favorites.

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Drew Nieporent, Jenifer and George Lang

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Michael Lomonaco

The Four Seasons was one of the first premiere restaurants I had ever dined at. It was also the scene of the start of a family tradition when we celebrated my brother's 50th birthday there back in the mid-90's. I had been back a number of times since then, but prior to last night's visit, we had not been for a number of years. The room remains as spectacular as ever and while a bit austere, it is seductive. That both the restaurant and I started our journeys during the same year provided an added reason to make the effort to travel down to pay homage to this true temple of dining. My wife and I were glad that we did.


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One Response to A 50th Birthday Party – The Four Seasons

  1. John Sconzo says:

    I regret having to post a very sad addendum, noting the sudden passing of long-time Four Seasons chef, Christian Albin just days after the 50th birthday party. An obituary can be found here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j4CINYxpgXRTfvhSJOLOXpm-7O7gD98QLVB00. I never met him, but respected him as a very talented and capable chef. RIP.

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