It’s been 2 years since we visited Restaurant Alliance, a small one star Michelin restaurant with Chef Toshitaka Omiya at the helm – someone who seriously knows how to cook. If you have the opportunity to get there, do. I give it solid thumbs way up. The food is wonderful combinations of really flavorful ingredients that will leave you wanting more and then they’ll bring the next course that is just as good or better. They offer 2 tasting menus, one a 7 course surprise menu selected by the chef or a Harmony Menu of set courses. They do offer a smaller tasting menu at lunch but go at dinner if you can because you don’t want to miss any of the dishes this chef turns out. Pacing is good, no lags and portion control great. There are only around 7 tables in between the windows to the street and the large window looking into the kitchen. Shades of gray and cream along with lower lighting provide a peaceful, cozy ambiance along with some cool circular overhead light fixtures. Service is stellar, with welcoming and helpful staff that all spoke great English. We were warmly greeted by the chef and manager Shawn Joyeux, who is great at finding you a fun wine at your chosen price point.
Some amuse bouche start the dinner, served rapidly so I’m pretty sure I didn’t get all the ingredients for each. Goat cheese mousse and raw radish were on a crisp cheese crust. The fresh tones of the dish were lovely as was the fun texture. It was quite good.
More raw radish was in tiny tart crust with shallots. Another tasty bite.
A coronet was filled with foie gras and topped with shallot foam. The ultra thin crust was a perfect contrast to the creamy interior. Very good.
A small taco was filled with beef fillet tartar and caviar. The bits of raw tenderloin melded with something creamy on top and both were enhanced by the tasty caviar topping. The really crisp shell was a good contrast with the silky interior contents. Winner with great flavors.
A sea scallop Croque-Monsieur was made with the scallop beards. The buttery delicious toast went perfectly with the luscious scallop bits. This was truly amazing. I could have stopped her and just eaten a plateful of these. Wow.
Green apple and radish slices were stuffed with crab curry. The discs were squeezed into a tortellini like shape after being filled with the creamy crab stuffing. It was mild but lovely. Some focaccia came out with it that was seasoned with lemon and olive oil with a bit of salt on top. Very nice.
A dense dark round loaf of bread came with a flavorful whipped olive oil butter. The bread had a good crisp crust and the butter a good flavor.
Artichokes flavored with coriander were on top of some Breton abalone. The abalone had never been frozen and was cooked for hours and then its juices mixed with the artichokes. The colors ended up being very similar as well as the size of the pieces. They both went well together or stood alone just fine. The abalone was amazingly tender and made you want to keep coming back for more bites. The artichokes were nicely flavored and it was wonderful to have a great pile of the tasty morsels.
Asparagus was with a frozen egg yolk that was cooked with truffle and then wrapped in the last of the season truffles. On the other side, the asparagus was the first of the season, so it was unusual to be able to have them in the same meal let alone the same plate. The truffle around the yolk set it like one that had been cooked in a sous vide machine. It was a perfect combination with the richness of the yolk with the truffle and a dab of truffle mayo to set them both off nicely. The totally fresh tasting asparagus went well with the mayo too. It was enhanced with dressed with bits of the interior of another asparagus stalk. A perfect combination and tremendous.
Blue lobster from the Chausey Islands on the Brittany Coast was plated with morels and white asparagus in a white wine sauce. This was a ‘lick-the-plate-clean’ dish. All the ingredients were excellent quality and I found myself wanted to savor each alone to enjoy the intensity of the taste and texture rather than mixing them. But they mixed spectacularly. This was about as perfect a dish as you could make.
Some nice rare beef filet was cut along the fiber (not cross cut) to make it absolutely tender. It was paired with mashed potatoes that were studded with bits of truffle. The different way of cutting the meat not only made it incredibly tender but it really brought out the flavor too, as did the nice sear on the edge. Truffles were terrific in the creamy rich mashed potatoes. This was another totally excellent dish.
The chicken was next that we had seen raw with the lobster coral under the skin. It looked green when raw and then turned a wonderful shade of burnt orange when cooked. The coral was placed under the skin for a couple days to flavor the meat. It was served with grilled broccoli and a piece of tempura lobster. Both meats were really juicy and the chicken totally picked up the flavor of the lobster. A genius concept. Everything was perfectly cooked and full of flavor with the sauce being a crowning glory. Broccoli added a bit of salt flavor to the plate and the tempura added a great crunch. Another excellent plate.
They offered an optional course of cheese featuring Comté but we passed because I wanted plenty of room for dessert. First was a strawberries and bergamot mousse. The strongly flavored strawberries were flavored with sugar and topped with a foam of bergamot and a thin clear disc of crisp sugar. This dish made me think delicate – it was light yet nicely sweet but mostly importantly well flavored.
Panna Cotta was mixed with pecans, mango and a passion fruit sorbet. The custard was a good base for the sweet yet tart sorbet. The toasted nuts added depth of flavor and crunch that was also added by the thin crisp cookie on top. Again, it satisfied my sweet tooth but felt light.
Rhubarb and meringue were combined with white tea vinaigrette. The sweet and tender rhubarb went well with the dressing. Alongside was a tasty fruity cake that was perfect for absorbing all the nice juices of this dish.
A dark chocolate of 70% was combined with truffle ice cream. The bottom was a thick chocolate cookie topped with the ice cream and then with a sugary crisp layer of chocolate and truffle. Everything blended really well in this one and provided a good variety of tastes and textures.
Last treats were an orange tart with a really short buttery crust topped with an intense bit of orange butter. Apple was mixed with cardamom to produce an apple-cinnamon jelly, that tasted like a bite of apple pie. Toasted meringue was in the spirit of a toasted marshmallow but it was stuffed with white chocolate. All were great but the ‘marshmallow’ was my favorite – totally yummy. Let me end by saying again the food is beautifully presented but also really packed with flavor – make a plan to go.