REVIEW

Degustation Wine & Tasting Bar

Jack and Grace Lamb rose to prominence after opening the excellent Jewel Bako on East 5th Street in 2001.  An anfractuous journey of new openings and closings ensued and, when the dust all settled, Jewel Bako, Degustation and Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar were left standing.  We think Degustation the finest of the three restaurants.  It serves a concise menu of Spanish-influenced tapas around a 16-seat chef's countertop.  The beautiful interior is connected to Jewel Bako next door and the extensive stonework offers aesthetic continuity between the two restaurants. 

The cuisine at Degustation is invariably rich, creative and highly consistent.  The creamy interiors of the panko-crusted chicken croquetas, which sit on beds of pimentón aioli, explode when you bite into them.  Serving bread pudding with seared quail is a stroke of genius, and a slightly bitter kale chip is the perfect ornament to the braised short rib with chorizo pomme puree. 

Although Degustation is not by conventional measures an inexpensive restaurant, the quality of its food is far out of proportion to the cost and its chef's table-style dining experience is considerably more affordable than most alternatives, such as standard-bearers Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Momofuku Ko and Atera.

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INFORMATION

East Village
239 E. 5th St.
New York (nr. Second Ave.)
212-979-1012
Mon-Sat, 6:00–11:00 pm; Sun, 6:00–10:00 pm
    Jasmine Shimoda, Chef

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