Tasting Social presents Mountain Bird is the relocated home of the critical, poultry-centric restaurant Mountain Bird. The co-owners and husband-wife team of Mountain Bird, Kenichi Tajima, a native of Japan who cooked at Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro and at Tastings, and Keiko, who works the front of the restaurant.
I don’t normally make the trip up to East Harlem for food since it’s quite a schlep. However, Mountain Bird is a cozy restaurant that has the relaxed yet old time feeling feel with the butcher paper lined tables and the white plates and cups monogrammed in gold. The food is definitely delicious and a gem for the neighborhood.
Here’s what we had:
We started off with strong cocktails of the Mademoiselle Cosmo ($9) and Cassis Dream ($11). The sweet and fruity, vodka and Cosmopolitan was what my friend wanted. My Cassis Dream was fruity but much drier (less sweet) due to the gin, cassis puree, and orange juice.
The restaurant’s signature, so-to-speak, starter of foie gras dumplings in consommé ($12) was absolutely delectable. The thin skinned dumplings just enveloped the silky foie gras (think delicate foie gras bombs) and the consommé was clean but intense with flavor. Perfect for the chilly evening.
Bite size head to toe sampler ($10) is a masterfully done dish that has some offal. You won’t even think you are eating entrails like fried cock’s comb (it’s like a crisp chicken nugget but has an almost silky interior) or luscious and crunchy chicken mousse cranberry nut bonbon that has a foie gras-like in texture and flavor. The balsamic wing “lollipop” was a cute little bite that has a hit of bracing sweet-sour vinegar. The chicken heart covered in mustard and set on a buttery puff was delectable.
The main course of Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Duo ($28) was a hearty portion for perfectly tender roast duck breast and delicious crisp yet supple duck leg. The cherry brandy sauce played on the earthiness of the duck and some fruity tartness. The large side of fresh roast vegetables balanced out the plate.
The evening’s special was the roast quail stuffed with homemade sausage, braised red cabbage and black truffles, and roast vegetables. This was arguably the better dish than the duck duo since it’s slightly lighter and tastes feels appropriately autumn.
To end the evening, we had the sticky toffee fig cake topped with sour cream and crunchy pearls ($7). The cake was moist, dense and studded with sweet dried figs. The gooey toffee sauce added just enough sweetness and the sour cream gave this a thick, creamy, tangy contrast to the cake. It was fantastic and if they did make a larger portion, I wouldn’t have hesitated to eat it all.
Mountain Bird is in all a great restaurant. Food and drinks are fairly priced. The service is friendly and attentive. It would be a great first or any date kind of place since it’s cute, cozy and have seriously tasty food.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the photo set or the gallery below:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157659603326388″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
Tastings Social presents Mountain Bird
251 E 110th St
(between 2nd & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10029
Tel. +1 212-744-4422