The Musket Room is a restaurant in Nolita where serving sizes are definitely a bit on the small side, but that’s overshadowed by how unique and tasty everything is. It’s an unassuming restaurant, but one that prides itself on excellent service and a serious Kiwi heavy wine program. The key to dining here is to get seated in the back room. It’s nice and big, but not jammed with tables and overlooks a beautiful garden where they grow much of their greens and edible flowers. It feels like you’re in a rich person’s upstate escape house - not Manhattan. Pleasant surprises all around.
Watercress Soup, Sweetbreads and Buttermilk Solids
Textures of all kinds. The bowl arrives with buttermilk solids and veal sweetbreads, and then has the green soup poured over it at the table. It’s a fresh feeling cold summer soup, with a bitter flavor and texture contrast, as advertised. It wasn’t our favorite, but we definitely enjoyed.
Mushroom Custard, Raw Mushrooms and Herbs
If you’re into the ’shrooms, this dish will have you hallucinating in no time. A beautifully laid out plate of mushrooms of all textures, shapes and sizes. The medley of mushrooms all go together well and should probably be on your table.
Cold Smoked Scallops, Cucumbers, Black Garlic, Pears and Sea Beans
This seems like the chef’s signature dish at this point. It’s the background shot on their website, a ceviche of cold smoked scallops, laid out with squares of cucumbers, pears and a bunch of other pretty things. We absolutely loved this, and have been thinking about it ever since consumption. Order it.
Tofu Gnocchi, Roasted Tomato Dashi, Oyster Mushroom and Asian Greens
Musket Room’s gnocchi is made out of tofu, something we didn’t think we’d like, but turned out loving. It’s super soft, tender, and melts in your mouth; another dish we’d come back for.
Chicken And The Egg
Clever. A perfectly cooked medallion of chicken breast with a sunny side egg yolk sitting on its face. Crush the egg, add it to the accompanying asparagus and dip the chicken accordingly. You win.
Chatham Cod, Peas, Crab, Pickled Mussel
I wish we had a better photo, because this dish was stunning. The cod shows up surrounded by peas in the pod, peas in a puree, some crab meat and is topped with a gigantic pickled mussel. Usually mussels don’t work in a dish without garlic butter broth, but this dish was an exception. Order it if it’s on the menu.
Our least favorite course of the night, this restaurant actually lost a point or two due to poor desserts. They looked pretty, but everyone generally lacked sweetness, which we don’t understand. Chocolate Torte with Blackmint Ice Cream and Mascarpone looked pretty, but didn’t get anyone excited at our table. Likewise, the Passion Fruit Pavlova with Strawberries and Cream tasted like nothing. Literally, like air. And the Vanilla Cream Puffs with Cherries and Pistachio was fine, but also nothing to write home about. Save the money and go get a gelato.