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Sunday, October 23, 2011

New York’s Telepan Restaurant—Still Fabulous!

Interior views - Telepan Restaurant

 When I’m in New York I get so caught up trying the newest restaurants that I often forget about places that have provided me with memorable meals in the past. Last weekend in the Big Apple for a short visit, I couldn’t wait to meet a friend for lunch at a hot new Soho spot, but for dinner I opted for Telepan, a restaurant that had pleased me on several earlier visits with its inventive and delectable fare.

Chef Bill Telepan
 The first time I dined at Telepan (named after Bill Telepan, the talented chef and owner) was in 2006. I still remember the meal: the waiter arriving with a basket of warm breads, a velvety butternut squash soup sprinkled with parsley and walnuts, beautifully cooked quail in a dried fruit sauce, and a superb quince granità layered with whipped cream, almonds, and prosecco. All the food was prepared with excellent ingredients and served in an unpretentious setting. I made one more visit after that one, but did not return for a few years.

Quince Granità Parfait with Prosec
On this trip, I was delighted to see that the menu was even better than I had remembered.  Once again, the basket of warm breads arrived and I chose a roll studded with fennel seeds and golden raisins. This time my soup was a pureed cauliflower rendition topped with toasted petit whole wheat croutons, diced quince, and hazelnuts. My half-moon-shaped pasta shells filled with creamy burrata and garnished with wild mushrooms and miniature veal meatballs delighted my palate. And, a thick perfectly seared piece of cod set atop golden Carolina rice in a light lobster broth was a stellar main course. And to my surprise, a new version of the irresistible quince granità parfait was on the menu, this one napped with a sublime yogurt cream. I savored every spoonful, remembering and tasting anew.

You can order à la carte at Telepan or opt for the four-course tasting menu (a good deal at $69). My husband and I chose the latter and loved the leisurely pace of our dinner, accompanied by an unobtrusive and attentive staff. The maître d’, Bill Flatley, even remembered that we had dined there before, and Chef Bill Telepan took a few minutes to step out of his kitchen and welcome us back. I walked out of the door thinking how nice it was to return to this special restaurant, and to see how it had not allowed years of success to dim its culinary imaginativeness.  

72 West 69th Street
New York, New York10023

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