The CEOs and VIPs who dine regularly in the old house at 37 Rutledge Street probably won’t be getting many stimulus checks, since the $600 shot in the arm is intended for folks earning less than a gazillion dollars annually. But what better way to see how the other tenth of 1 percent lives than to take your joint-ﬁler for a romantic $1,200 dinner for two at the culinary Shangri-la of Andrew Chadwick’s on Rutledge Hill.
Coincidentally, $1,200 is the going rate for a pound of the black trufﬂes that Chadwick imports from Périgord, so you could just ask for a snoutful of the fungus known as Black Gold. Smarter money, though, will indulge in a sampling of Chadwick’s extravagant creativity.
Tell your server you’d like the “tasting menu on steroids.” It’s not on the menu, but Chadwick will know what you mean, and he’ll goose the regular $80 prix-ﬁxe meal into a $180 spread so decadent it’s almost naughty.You’ll start out with a Canadian oyster on the half-shell—teased with lemon oil, gelled tomato water, red pepper and smoked vinegar—and proceed to Russian caviar with blinis. Next comes a salad of black trufﬂes and foie gras with an egg poached to 65 degrees Celsius—a low temperature that yields a coveted custardy yolk that is all the talk among molecular gastronomists. But wait, don’t answer yet. For the low price of $360 for two, you and your dining companion will also get this fabulous soup: In the center of a shallow white bowl, Chadwick plates a vibrant still life of three deep-pink medallions of lobster, topped with porcini mushrooms, matchsticks of black trufﬂe and scant pyramidal crystals of salt from the Brittany coast. In a grand gesture, a server pours warm, velvety pea soup into the bowl, completing a pink-and-green sculpture as perfect as a porcelain knick-knack in a Palm Beach living room. The pièces de résistance are the two entrée presentations. Saddle of rabbit with trufﬂe sauce, pickled ramps, celery root puree, turnip, tomato and yellow carrot arrives like a glorious improvisational canvas of edible watercolors. A richer, more fauviste composition frames the venison. The succulent meat is plated on a rough square of slate, with smears of tomato jam and butternut squash puree and sea salt infused with coffee and citrus zest, whose every pinch explodes across the tongue with pixels of bright ﬂavor. Cap off your meal with baba rhum, a yeasty bread soaked in rum and simple syrup and served with candied baby vegetables and saffron ice cream, and a parting mignardise of sea salt caramel. To go whole hog with your stimulus booty, Chadwick recommends a bottle each of Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 1999 champagne ($327) and Michele Chiarlo Barolo Triumviratum 1997 ($210), bringing your total with tax and tip to just around $1,200. Go ahead and splurge. Dinner’s on Uncle Sam.