Tocqueville: The Best Knish in NYC

I love trying new stuff. I mean, I live in New York City…I should take advantage of all the truly amazing restaurants that are out there.
But…every parent has a favorite child, right?
And my favorite child has got to be Tocqueville.
For an extensive love letter, read here.
For a briefer, but no less sincere ode to its greatness in style, value and especially flavor, read on.
The intimate and beautiful bar setting with a myriad of different drinks.
Raspberry Bellini. Fresh, sweet raspberries. Minerally, effervescent champagne. Just a dash of deep, syrupy Chambord. Perfection.
Gougeres. Light as air, rich as butter, with the nutty, melty taste and interior texture of mild Gruyère cheese.
Wafer thin beet tuiles, tasting sweet, savory and intensely earthy mixed with impossibly fluffy and grassy goat cheese. A whimsical take on a classic combination.
Celery root and truffle croquettes. Or, as my sister would say “the world’s best knish”
Is there really a better recommendation than that?
Butternut crab toast with aged Parmigianp Regiano. Thick, smooth butternut squash was sweet and almost vibrant next to the sharp and salty cheese. Tangy balsamic vinaigrette added depth to this incredibly satisfying vegetarian dish.  The crab salad to the right was – hands down – the sweetest, meatiest cold crab salad I have ever had. It tasted as if it was bound by crab water alone, with no mayonnaise to take away from the meaty, creamy, oceanic taste of that glorious crustacean.  Topped with a dollop of salty, minerally oesetra caviar, this was a standout dish in every way.
Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Pheasant egg and Parmigiano Regiano. Nettles have a fresh but sturdy taste and texture, akin to artichokes, but with the lightly biting zip of scallions.  They puree into a smooth and rich filling for thin but still al dente raviolis. The pockets of pasta were toothsome before giving way to that verdant, zippy, creamy but not rich filling. The rich part came from the softly poached pheasant egg, which served as a sauce. Chef Gregory Vernick uses pheasant eggs even though they are expensive for him to use because of the creamy, fatty and rich yolk, It gives the sauce the velvety texture and heft of cream without diluting the egg’s natural flavor. I requested this to be part of the tasting menu, even though it was not part of the menu originally. Chef  Vernick obliged without charging extra, because that is just he way that they do it at Tocqueville.
Fresh black bass on broccoli raab, with meyer lemon puree.
Nothing out of the ordinary. Just flaky, mild, perfectly moist fish with a crackling skin served with the most tender, least bitter broccoli raab I have ever had, all complimented by a sweet and tart lemon puree.
But that’s it.
Seared duck with sauteed cabbage, duck confit and berries. The duck confit was – shockingly – almost light. It was airy and almost porky it its sweet creaminess. The cabbage was tender but not mushy, and retained that distinctive cabbage-y aroma and taste, and the duck breast…
There are no words for the glory of this duck breast. Thick, soft, mild but still fulfilling. The berries were sweet, the skin was salty and the duck was devoured.
Homemade chocolate hazelnut tart that makes Nutella back away in shame. So delicious, so rich, so chocolaty. The mocha ice cream served with it was creamy, smooth and intensely espresso-y.
And that’s really all that I can say about Tocqueville.
Besides the fact that it is my favorite restaurant in New York.
Seasonal, incredibly well priced, locally sourced food that is cooked with amazing attention to detail.
And there you have it: My favorite child and the world’s best knish all in one place
Tocqueville on Urbanspoon


  1. Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) says:

    Look like you had a wonderful meals.

  2. And now I just feel deprived that I've lived my whole life here and never frequented this fine establishment! Oy. What have I been missing out on…

  3. Oh I'm soooo going to have to go there…thanks for posting. BTW – ate at Ai Fiori last night. Absolutely divine – those oysters…YUM. Thank god for good friends with big wallets.

  4. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Sonia – it was truly revelatory.
    @Joanne-omg yes you NEED TO GO THERE!!! Everything is simply outstanding!
    @Dee-I want those friends! Where are they??? And ps yes, you need to go there, and PLEASE try the fabulous housemade foccacia!