Beast is a great foodie experience
Seeing that chef Naomi Pomeroy was to appear on Iron Chef America, I immediately booked a reservation for my next available evening. I was a solo diner, and it sounded wonderful to enjoy food at a communal table with others who appreciate fine food.
The Beast web site clearly states the policy about no substitutions, communal seating, cancellation fee, etc. I was game for all of that, just praying I didn't catch a head cold a day before dinner.
I was seated at the smaller of the 2 tables, with 6 companions (3 couples) who hailed from Hawaii, SF, and locals. The Iron Chef appearance had spurred all of them to book dinner at Beast. As I hoped, it was a lovely evening of conversation as well as food. As others have said, the chairs are very uncomfortable.
I had the wine pairing and thought it was very well done.
The first course was spinach soup with white truffle cream and shaved black truffle. The soup was only lukewarm (Chef Pomeroy had tried to keep it warmer by pre-heating the soup bowls), and I think the truffle would have been more pronounced if the soup were hotter. But it was very pleasant. The bread was the best bread I have ever eaten.
Second course was the wonderful charcuterie plate with nibbles of shredded pork, local sausage, steak tartare and quail egg, and the foie gras bon-bon. All delightful.
The third course made the whole dinner. It was a duck leg confit on a bed of summer succotash. The duck wasn't oily. The meat was moist and very flavorful, a joy with each bite, and the skin also very tasty. It was masterful.
The fourth course - the radicchio salad was a little too bitter for me, but it went very well with the wine pairing.
Cheese course was delicious.
The dessert was a perfect tartlette of honey sweetened mascarpone topped with a fig brulee. Lovely, just sweet enough. French press coffee was optional for $3.
Altogether, the evening was well worth the price. As my companions said, it is very rare to see an Iron Chef contender actually in the kitchen. Chef Pomeroy was there cooking throughout the meal. The service was very good, we never lacked for more water, wine or bread. I look forward to returning for brunch and for future dinners.