Restaurant Alliance is a small place, about 10 tables, that has been in this location about 15 months. One end of the room is windows looking into the kitchen where you can watch Chef Toshitaka Omiya work his magic. He makes trips into the dining room to check on the diners also. The one dining room is modern in style with interesting circular ceiling fixtures providing a nice light level. The noise level is very acceptable and probably helped by the various geometric shapes on the walls, carpeting and drapes. Tables are close enough to that you don’t feel isolated but not so close that you have to move a table to exit. Alliance offers two tasting menus of 6 or 8 courses and an a la carte menu. I don’t think I saw anyone choosing the latter option.
Portion size is well modulated and pacing of the meal was good. The night we were there a black truffle option was available for each tasting menu. We chose the longer tasting with no truffles. No wine pairings were offered but if you hand your wine decisions over to Sommelier Shawn Joyeux he will find you great options at your selected price point. Between he, the chef and the excellent servers we had a relaxed and wonderful evening of fine food and wine.
A couple amuse start the meal: a rice krispy with fennel cream -it was very crisp with a light flavor and a brioche with coffee cream – the buttery brioche was accented with a dot of deliciously intense coffee flavor.
The menu started with a carrot and cumin cream topped with crunchy goodness. Served warm, I might have added a touch of salt but the light carrot flavor was well combined with cumin and the crunchy topping added that needed bit of textural contrast. A nice dish.
Next was a radish topped with caviar from Venice and served alongside some house made focaccia covered with olive oil and lemon. The focaccia was good, nicely chewy and well seasoned. The radish and caviar were excellent, the slightly hot radish pairing well with the salty, briny caviar.
Bread and butter combined with olive oil arrived next. The bread had a really nice denseness with an incredibly crispy crust. It was fresh and warm and prepare to make a mess when you eat it, but it’s well worth it. For me the bread was wonderful without any enhancement.
Raw shrimp were mixed with olive oil and served with fresh cream all topped with toasted nuts. The totally fresh shrimp mixed well with the cream and the nuts added a fun crunch. The simple dish was positively delicious.
Potatoes, onions, shallots and mushrooms were served with buttery crumbs. The perfectly cooked potatoes blended really well with all the other ingredients to make a fine combination of flavors and textures. A simple and wonderful dish.
Sea bass with coriander, hazelnut oil and asparagus was the next course. The fish was barely cooked and thus not dry at all. The asparagus had a wonderfully strong taste but the foam was more visual effect than flavor. Raw asparagus was diced and spread around the plate to give a textural component to the dish.
Duck liver was served with turnips, carrots and duck consommé. Ginger and lemon grass provided additional seasoning for the dish. It was a spectacular bit of poached love in a bowl.
Beef filet, aged 3 weeks, was plated with salsify which had been previously smoked and eel fish. Everything blended great. The salsify which had been black was peeled down to the nice caramelized color. The meat was tender and tasty but the salsify was the star here.
A palate cleanser of apple and cinnamon was a wonderful refreshment.
First dessert was a vanilla custard with black olives crumble on the top. The custard had a texture like that in coconut custard pie and was totally yummy. The olive crumble added a perfect contrast.
A rolled biscuit was thin sliced and placed on ice cream and then decorated with crumbles. Sweet and buttery bliss here – yum x3!
Chocolate and coffee with cocoa ice cream was next. It was ganache with a crunchy top and ice cream – how could you go wrong? Wonderful textures, contrasts and sweetness. Another yum x3!
Finally we ended with a miniature pound cake that was a yum x2 – all buttery goodness. It was paired with buttery chocolate cookie and chocolate mousse in a shell. Both really good too. I didn’t want to stop!