The Spot: Crescent Grill, 38-40 Crescent Street, Long Island City.
The Deal: Crescent Grill opened last summer and, during our long, brutal winter, endeared itself to local residents by offering a free shuttle service to the restaurant. The menu features modern American cuisine that highlights the best of local ingredients, and the décor highlights the works of local artists and doubles as an art gallery.
The restaurant has developed a long-standing relationship with Upstate Farms, which delivers 90 percent of the restaurant’s vegetables. Originally, Crescent Grill opened as a partnership between two brothers, Shaun and Dan Dougherty, until Milton Enriquez, a winner on Chopped, joined the team last November as executive chef. The team has taken full advantage of these partnerships.
“My inspiration [for the menu] is that everything comes from the farm,” Enriquez says.
The Dish: The signature dish at Crescent Grill is no exception. Enriquez can trace the route each ingredient has taken to become part of the Magret Duck on a bed of fricasseed vegetables which include baby turnips, spring garlic, fiddlehead ferns and strawberry paint in a natural jus. Strawberry paint is simply a natural reduction of pure strawberry juice – “With no added sugar,” the chef emphasizes.
“Personally, I love duck and like to have it on the menu,” Enriquez says. “I leave as much fat on the skin as possible so the skin becomes crispy like bacon.
As the seasons and in-season vegetables change, the underlying bed of spring vegetables can rotate to include shiitake mushrooms or baby carrots.
“Everything possible comes from the farm,” says Enriquez. “When I call in the order, they cut the vegetables.”
The preparation of the menu’s duck will change in line with the seasons but whatever the preparation, guests of Crescent Grill can expect the freshest local ingredients to be included in its preparation.