Forget about molecular gastronomy, the next big thing in New York dining could very well be...Neuro-gastronomy? That's how Argentinian chef and doctor Miguel Sanchez Romera describes the food he is serving at his new Meatpacking restaurant Romera, which just opened in the Dream Hotel. According to the chef that means his food is created using "a thoughtful study of the organoleptic properties of each ingredient. The result is a natural cuisine driven by the importance of the neurosensory perceptions, the taste-memory and the emotions of food." So, yeah, this joint is nuts.
Romera is currently serving an 11-course prix fixe menu that is "inspired by the spirit of New York," so think dishes like Isis, which is served in three phases and is described by the restaurant's PR firm like this:
The plate is an artfully designed mosaic of seasonally rotating dehydrated vegetables on a dish rimmed with a blended Culinary Essence—concentrated aromatics used to heighten the overall impression of the dish. The second stage of the dish is served tableside, featuring a variety of micro-vegetables like beets, carrots and celery leaves that have been cooked in a cocotte and placed upon the mosaic. The dish is completed with a vegetable consommé which is poured over the dish. Diners control the last phase of the experience, encouraged to incorporate all of the ingredients together before tasting.
Eat your heart out, WD-50.
But Chef/Dr Romera doesn't stop his antics with the food, either. The restaurant also serves his own brand of "Acqua Gourmands," beverages which are infusions of stocks and broths that vary in temperature, flavor and scent and are matched to each course (of course a long wine list is available as well). Romera also has his own take on chocolates, because at this point why not?
And it isn't just the restaurant's menu that's a little different, the actual layout of the 48-seat restaurant (designed by Glen Coben) is pretty unique too. After walking down a staircase into the restaurant, guests are invited to spend time perusing Romera's personal collection of cookbooks before going into the actual restaurant, which includes custom "light canopies" decorated with butterflies, an interior herb garden, the restaurant's wine cellar and the chef's spice rack. All of which to say, this is not your mother's molecular gastronomy restaurant.
355 West 16th Street // 212-929-5800