Veritas is well known as an oenophiles delight. The wine list has the heft of a Tolstoy novel, with more than 1,300 offerings, and up to four sommeliers work the intimate space at one time. You might think the food would be an afterthought, but the surprise is that it is every bit as impressive as the wine. The menu at Veritas is full of quiet pleasures. Chef Scott Bryan presents dishes that each remain true to their main ingredient, highlighted with thoughtful companions that don't overshadow, but complement.

Our favorite appetizer is a recent special of white asparagus with poached egg, black truffle and shaved parmesan. It tastes like the most decadent breakfast dish ever. If we could start every day with this, we would. The albino-white asparagus retains a healthy crunch that contrasts with the melting softness of the egg and cheese. The black truffles, in big chunks, add an intense earthy flavor that literally brings the lighter-than-air dish back down to earth.

2006_2_GothamVeritasLobster.jpgGothamist also tried a very good cold lobster salad that comes with a fava bean purée, peas, delightful little leaves of peppercress and old sherry vinegar. Then there is the seared foie gras, which is among the best we've had in town. Paired with a lightly perfumed quince pureé, toasted hazelnuts and a black pepper sauce, the slices of foie were crispy outside and creamy within. A forest of frisee on top balanced the richness.

If you don't know much about pairing foods with wine, don’t worry—the helpful staff is more than willing to guide you. If you dine out looking for a scene, this isn't the place for you. But if you're looking for extraordinary food with a wine list to match, then look no further.

43 East 20th Street
Between Park Avenue South and Broadway
Tel: 212-353-3700