Restaurant Review: Günter Seeger

Chef Günter has lived and worked in Atlanta for many years. He ran the restaurant in the Atlanta Ritz Carlton before opening his own restaurant, Seeger’s. He claims to have become disillusioned with the changing market in Atlanta and decided to trek up north where it’s more economically viable to run a “very high end” restaurant.

Last Friday after class I dashed home to change and drove into the city to try and make my 10PM reservations. It was a stressful couple hours knowing that 10PM was the last seating and that they charge $100 per person for cancelations. But we made it just in time. The first impression of the restaurant is a puzzlement of “are we at the right place?” This west village restaurant does a great job of being non-assuming from the street. After the foyer there is a set of curtains that lead into the restaurant. The restaurant is on long room with the kitchen at the far end. Although it is technically an open kitchen it’s not a show like some. I was given the sense that this was more like a living room with an attached kitchen.

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The entire dining room was quite small

Chef Günter serves a daily changing tasting menu of 10 courses. There is also an option to have four courses selected somewhere from the 10 but of course we didn’t even discuss that option.

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We started with a chilled corn soup that was fantastic. Corn is one of my favorite foods and in a chilled soup it’s just so refreshing. Perfect for a hot July day.

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We did the wine pairing with was interesting as it was mostly German wines with only one Riesling. Not my favorite wines granted, but it was cool to try some indigenous German grapes.

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The scallop was very flavorful and artfully presented on the shell.

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Also served cold with refreshing notes of cilantro

The following course was a egg custard served in an egg shell with maple chantilly cream (whipped cream).

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As good as the egg was the brioche in the background was what made this dish come together. 

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After the egg we were served a potato dumpling with chanterelle mushrooms. This dish was very good although it was slightly under seasoned.

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Chanterelle are some of my favorite. 

Half way through our meal I noticed that Chef Günter was having dinner himself. I wanted to go over and see what he was eating. Of course I restrained myself.

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Giving a new meaning to the “Chef’s Table”

Next we were served a grilled Nova Scotia lobster. I was pleasantly surprised to see that we were served half of a lobster. Normally with a tasting menu you receive a quarter at best. Of course this was double good becasue it was perfectly tender. Not the easiest thing to accomplish when cooking lobster.

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One of my favorite dishes at the restaurant. 

To wrap up the main courses we were served a 45 day dry aged strip loin. It was cut very thin and grilled very quickly. The beef was very tender and gone in a matter of seconds. I wish it was served with something else on the plate. Some vegetables for example.

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Kinda looks lonely on the plate.
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I loved the wine glasses. 

Next came the cheese course. A server came out with a large cutting board to showcase the cheese we would be eating with the bread that they get from a local bakery. This night a wonderful sourdough. And the cheese was a amazing goat cheese.

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Dessert began with a single bite chocolate sorbet. This was the best chocolate sorbet I’ve ever had. The dark chocolate flavor was real, intense and palpable.

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And to wrap up the desserts we had 3 colors of raspberries with crème fraiche with rose water on the bottom. This dessert was so simple that everything hinged on the freshness and sweetness on the raspberries. To serve this you need to be supremely confident in your ingredients. It was also not very american in the sugar level which I loved. Both desserts were very low in sugar (and size) for the American palate.

 

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I highly recommend Günter Seeger in NY. It’s not cheap but it’s still way cheaper than the big dogs (Per Se, EMP, Brooklyn Fare ect.), with similar offerings.

Service: 9.5/10

Food: 9/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Price: $$$$

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