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Chef Ben Zwicker Recipe - TBar Steak and Lounge, New York, NY, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Chef Ben Zwicker - Tbar Steak and Lounge - New York, USAExecutive Chef Ben Zwicker of TBar Steak & Lounge located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, New York graciously shares a delicious "taste" of the upscale, chic restaurant with his recipes for Tuna Tartare, Seared Octopus Salad, and Banana Mille-Feuille to tempt your palate into making a trip to New York City to personally experience the restaurant.

 

We had a wonderful dinner at TBar Steak & Lounge on October 15, 2016 and got to know Executive Chef Ben Zwicker's culinary philosophy through his food. Later, he took time from the kitchen to catch up with Luxury Experience to discuss his influences, new favorites at the restaurant, culinary trends, and more.

Executive Chef Ben Zwicker honed his culinary craft at the California Culinary Academy followed by stints working at BLUM Enterprises, LLC, Aureole, Petrossian, the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, and the Mandarin Hotel Group in San Francisco, before joining TBar Steak & Lounge where he clearly shines.

Chef Ben Zwicker
Chef Ben Zwicker

Luxury Experience:
You went to the California Culinary Academy. What did you major in? Savory, pastry, or both?

 

 

Chef Ben Zwicker:
I studied savory at the culinary school. I have never had the necessary patience for pastry.

 

 

Luxury Experience:
Who inspired you to become a chef? What type of food?

 

 

Chef Ben Zwicker:
Cooking with my mother and older sister.  We made food from all over the world.
   
Luxury Experience:
What are a few of your favorite items on the T-Bar Steak & Lounge menu?

 

 

Chef Ben Zwicker:
My favorites right now are the Roasted Beets and Endive with Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Seed salad, the Seared Spanish Octopus appetizer with Potatoes, Celery, and Olives, and the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with Parsnip, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple Glaze entrée.

 

 

Luxury Experience:
We had the Seared Spanish Octopus appetizer with Potatoes, Celery, and Olives and it was indeed delicious, a lovely mélange of flavors and textures. Thank you for sharing the recipe with Luxury Experience readers.

 

 

Luxury Experience:
Every chef has their favorite "to-go" items. What are yours?

 

 

Chef Ben Zwicker:
Bacon, vinegar, and onions.

 

 

Luxury Experience:
What culinary trend would you like to see on its way out?
   
Chef Ben Zwicker:
Soulless, over manipulated food served in too may courses.

 

 

Luxury Experience:
As a chef, who has most influenced and inspired you throughout your career?

 

 

Chef Ben Zwicker:
TBar owner Tony Fortuna is without a doubt the biggest influence.  He has worked with some of the world's best chefs over the last few decades and has a tremendous knowledge of both cuisine and what our customers want.
Judy Rogers of Zuni Cafe was another big inspiration for me; simple, clean intense flavors in an atmosphere that was so convivial, welcoming, casual, and elegant all at the same time.

 

 

Luxury Experience:
When not working in the kitchen, how do you like to spend your time?

 

 

Chef Ben Zwicker:
I have a wonderful 3-year old son whom I love being outdoors with. 

Executive Chef Ben Zwicker graciously shares three tasty recipes to provide a delectable "taste" of TBar Steak & Lounge until you can personally experience the restaurant.

Chef Ben Zwicker, TBar Steak & Lounge, New York City, NY, USA Menu
Tuna Tartare
Seared Octopus Salad
Banana Mille-Feuille

Tuna Tartare - TBar Steak & Lounge - NYC

Tuna Tartare
Makes 4 appetizer portions or 12 tasting size portions

Tuna Tartar Ingredients:

1
Pound
Tuna, sushi quality
2
Tablespoons
Shallots, minced
2
Tablespoons
Chives, chopped
2
Teaspoons
Ginger, minced
3
Tablespoons
Olive Oil
3
Teaspoons
Soy Sauce
2
Teaspoons
Sesame Oil
0.5
Teaspoon
Shichimi pepper, (Japanese spice mixture)
1
Pinch
Cumin
   
Salt and Cayenne, to taste

Method: Gently mix ingredients together, as if dressing a salad. Top with slivers of deep fried wonton or spring roll wrappers.

Grilled Octopus - TBar Steak & Lounge - NYC

Seared Octopus Salad
Serves 4-6

Poached Octopus Ingredients:

1
2-4 Pound
Spanish or Portuguese Octopus
2
Cups
Dry White Wine
1
 
Bay Leaf
2
Sprigs
Thyme
1
 
Lemon
1
Teaspoon
Chili Flakes
1
Gallon
Water

Method: Add all ingredients except the octopus to a large pot and bring to a boil. To clean the octopus cut out the eyes with a sharp knife, push out the beak with your thumb and turn the head inside out.

Holding the octopus by the head, dunk the legs into the boiling poaching liquid for 20 seconds until the legs start to curl, then rest on a tray until the poaching liquid returns to a boil. Repeat twice more. Lower the poaching liquid to a gentle simmer, add the octopus, cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1-hour until the octopus is easily pierced with a toothpick or knife tip. Remove and cool. Cut the tentacles from the center and cut the head into slices.

Potato Salad Ingredients:

8-12
Small
Potatoes, boiled, quartered
1
 
Octopus Head, poached, sliced thin
3
Stalks
Celery, with leaves, sliced thin
1
 
Shallot, sliced thin
4
 
Sundried Tomatoes, sliced thin
0.5
Cup
Olives, Lucques and Niçoise, crushed
   
Olive Oil
   
Fresh Lemon Juice
   
Salt, Pepper, and Crushed Chili

Method: Toss the ingredients and season generously with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili.

Herb Oil Ingredients:

1
Cup
Basil Leaves, blanched, chopped, squeezed dry
1
Cup
Parsley Leaves, blanched, chopped, squeezed dry
1
Cup
Grapeseed Oil

Method; Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree. It is best to infuse the oil overnight and then strain through a coffee filter.

To Finish:

8
 
Octopus Legs, poached
1
Tablespoon
Grapeseed Oil
1
Clove
Garlic, chopped
2
Tablespoons
Parsley, chopped
1
Pinch
Crushed Chili
1
 
Lemon, cut in half

Method: In heavy sauté pan, sear the octopus legs over high heat until crisp on both sides, add a little more oil, and toss with garlic, parsley, chili, and lemon juice. 

Presentation: Make a mound of salad on each plate, top with octopus, and drizzle with herb oil.

Banana Parfait Mille Feuille - TBar Steak & Lounge, NYC

Banana Mille-Feuille
Serves 8

Coconut Tuiles Ingredients:

0.6
Cup
Sugar
2
Cups
Coconut Macaroons
3
 
Eggs

Method: Mix the sugar and the coconut macaroons together, then add the eggs and combine thoroughly. At this point you can put the tuile batter in tightly sealed container and refrigerate for up to five days.

To make the tuiles bring the batter to room temperature. Cut out a stencil that is 2-inches x5-inches from a milk carton, or something of about that weight. Place a Silpat directly on the countertop and place the stencil in one corner, measure 2 teaspoons of tuile batter, and spread it into the stencil with an offset spatula.

Repeat until you have the desired number of tuiles (you will need two per order). Pick up the Silpat and place on a half sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes at 275° F, turn once after 7 minutes.

If the tuiles are not golden brown after 15 minutes, continue baking for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool. Once cool, remove from the Silpat with the offset spatula; they should come off very easily and set them aside.

Once cool they can be kept for 2 or 3 days in the fall, spring, or winter, and about 2 or 3 minutes in the summer.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

1
Cup
Sugar
0.13
Cup
Corn Syrup
2
Ounces
Butter (2 ounces = 4 tablespoons)
0.5
Cup
Cream

Method: Add the sugar and corn syrup to a saucepan and caramelize over medium high heat. Once caramelized, add the butter, cook briefly until incorporated, remove from the heat and whisk in cream. Once cooled the sauce can be held for 5 days. Gently reheat in a double boiler to serve.

Coconut Crème Anglaise Ingredients:

1
Can
Coconut Milk
2
Cups
Cream
2
Tablespoons
Cream
0.3
Cup
Sugar
6
 
Egg Yolks

Method: In a sauce pan combine the coconut milk and cream and reduce by one-quarter over low heat, 10 to 15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar then slowly add the reduced cream and coconut mixture while still quite warm. Return the mixture to the sauce pan and cook gently over quite low heat with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of the wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Cool the sauce; it will keep refrigerated for 4 days.

To Finish:

2
 
Coconut Tuiles
1
 
Banana, sliced thin
2
Tablespoons
Coconut Crème Anglaise
2
Tablespoons
Caramel Sauce
2
Tablespoons
Sugar in the Raw
   
Vanilla Ice Cream

Presentation: Form a piece of ice cream to the size and shape of the tuile and freeze until ready to use.  Arrange the thinly sliced banana like "fish scales" covering one of the tuiles.

Important Note: Make sure that no tuile shows through the banana because it will burn easily. 

Place the banana covered tuile on a cookie tray or other heatproof dish and sprinkle with the raw sugar and brûlée holding the torch about 6 inches away. Repeat one more time, lightly sprinkling with sugar and brûlée.

On the serving plate make a design with the two sauces. Make a sandwich with the plain tuile on the bottom topped with the ice cream and the brûléed banana tuile and place in the center of the plate.

Since its opening in 2007, TBar Steak & Lounge has attracted Upper East Side locals with its enticing food, comfortable yet upscale attractive ambience, and excellent service.

TBar Steak & Lounge, NYC
TBar Steak & Lounge

TBar Steak & Lounge is open for Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, for Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, for Dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:00 pm until 10:30 pm, and for Dinner on Sunday from 5:00 pm until 9:30 pm.

Read about our dining experience at TBar Steak & Lounge in the Restaurants section where we provide an in-depth look and "taste" of the restaurant.

TBar Steak & Lounge, NYCTBar Steak & Lounge
1278 Third Avenue
(between 73rd and 74th Streets on the Upper East Side)
New York, New York 10021
United States
Telephone:      +1-212-772-0404
Email:             
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Website:         www.tbarnyc.com/
Facebook:       www.Facebook.com/TBarNYC

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© October 2016. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com All Rights Reserved. 

 
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