Do you love caviar? If you answered that you do, how much do you love it? Enough to scarf down 1 kg (2 pounds) in a single sitting, as contestants had to do on season five of “The Amazing Race”?
Even the most dedicated devotee might have to cry “Uncle” at even the thought of that undertaking, so let’s start with a more reasonable premise. Suppose the challenge were to consume an eight-course feast in which caviar played a role in each artful course — including dessert? If you’re game, then reserve a table at HŪSO, a newcomer to the haute gourmet scene that features a multi-course extravaganza that gravitates around those precious sturgeon eggs.
HŪSO occupies a space at the back of Marky’s Caviar Shop, a retail outlet at Madison and 81st Street (entrance on 81st St.). By day, the elegant space is reserved for wine sipping and bites. But by night it puts on the ritz with the likes of sevruga combined with yellowtail hamachi, cucumber, radish, and ajo blanco; and white sturgeon roe teamed with asparagus, and duck egg yolk.
The aforementioned dessert, dubbed “Milk, Honey, Kaluga Imperial Gold,” is described by the Michelin Guide as “honey cake, topped with vanilla ice cream and Siberian sturgeon caviar.” The improbable combination, which also includes an espresso-soaked ladyfinger topped with a coffee panna cotta and a layer of small chocolate pearls, is served fancifully in a blue caviar tin.
The entire tasting menu can be found here. There is one 7 p.m. seating from Wednesday through Saturday. The price, as you might expect, is not for the faint of heart, at $200 a head. HŪSO, 1067 Madison Avenue, at 81st Street, 332-600-9989.