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By Doug Singer

Located on 44th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue , off of the lobby of the trendy Iroquois Hotel, Triomphe restaurant is a hidden gem in the bustling midtown area of Manhattan . The intimate room in the heart of New York ’s theater district, is inhabited by a mere 11 tables.  The simple yet elegant décor is made up of dark walnut floors, a domed ceiling and minimally decorated, pristine white walls.  With the swirling sounds of jazz from overhead and an ambiance that nudges you to sit back, relax and take your time, we sensed that we were in for a treat.  As the brainchild of original chef/owner Steve Zobel, the eclectic blend of Haute American and Country French cuisine was calling out from the menu, urging us to get started.  The festivities began with the nightly bartender’s specialty, a coconut martini.  Although not the obvious choice on an unseasonably cold New York evening, it was an absolute delight to the senses.  I would return to Triomphe just to experience this elegant libation again.  So creamy, yet so light.  How’d they do that?   As recommended by our extremely well informed waiter, my fiancé and I chose the tasting menu with the wine pairing.  At six courses, we settled in and prepared ourselves for a culinary adventure.

The journey got started with a LaRossa salad. A sumptuous blend of endive, arugula, tomato and pickled onion tossed with lemon juice and olive oil and topped with shaved parmesan.  Simple and elegant, a great start.  What followed was a steaming bowl of acorn squash wontons, floating in a truffle Parmesan broth, garnished with escarole. Without even lifting a spoon, my senses were assaulted with the intoxicating aroma.  I was tempted to just bask in the moment, but upon indulging, I was somewhat surprised and delighted by the way that the cool sweet wontons contrasted with the pungent salty broth.  The pairing of a Sancerre from the Loire valley of France made this dish nothing short of perfection.  Strong, clear flavors and a unique culinary experience seemed to be taking shape. This masterpiece was followed by seared diver scallops, with foie gras and porcini mushroom butter.  Draped across the scallops, were a couple of carpaccio thin sheets of foie gras.  Unexpected, but thoughtful panache. Although a delectable treat, the mushrooms were a bit gritty. 

As I sat in appreciation of this fine meal, the attention to detail started becoming more and more apparent.  From the carefully trimmed flowers to the charming vessel containing a flickering tea light, I felt the very soul of this restaurateur in every detail. The next course was roasted squab set atop a port wine reduction with fresh raspberries.  The squab was cooked to perfection; however the sauce, a little overly sweet for my taste, needed to be used sparingly.   What followed was the piece de resistance. A seared coriander encrusted, Australian rack of lamb, with foie gras stuffed prunes and spinach with port wine.  At first, the thought of prunes stuffed with foie gras smacked of a chef trying a little too hard to impress.  Clearly, this was not the case. Hands down this was the best lamb dish I have had in recent memory.  At this point, my senses were reeling.  Just when we thought that we couldn’t take any more, we were presented with fresh figs, strawberries and a perfectly light zabaglione.  Fairly simple, until it danced on the palate with the Three Bridges dessert wine that was served to us.  Three hours after arriving we got in a cab and headed to the Upper East Side , both in agreement that the best pairing of the evening was the excellent service and the fine cuisine. With that in mind, it would be a surprise to not see this 2-˝ star restaurant breach the 3 star barrier.


Fact Sheet:

Address: 49 W. 44th St .


                  New York , NY 10036  

Phone: (212) 453-4233


Cost: ($31.00 - $50.00)


Tasting menu w/ wine pairing, $95 pp


Attire – Business casual


All Credit Cards Accepted











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