12/28/2012 10:11:00 AM

The Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Beef Deckle "Toro" at Commerce

Beef Deckle "Toro" at Commerce
Commerce, a neighborhood favorite for West Villagers, just capped its 5th year. And one thing that we love about the buzzing, cozy space is how we can stop in at any time for a constantly rotating roster of new dishes along with longstanding favorites such as the salad of 20 herbs and lettuces with manchego ($13); hamachi ceviche with tomato, yuzu, chili and cilantro ($18); or the veal meatballs with creamy polenta ($26).

Chef Harold Moore’s latest menu addition, beef deckle "toro," is a true umami bomb: small cuts of the rib eye “cap,” seared rare, on a bed of meaty charred mushrooms, with a gingery, spicy, salty ponzu opening up every tastebud. Tiny sea beans add the slightest contrast of texture while the deckle, a flavorful but usually fatty and tough cut, is wondrously tender. It’s a whole lot of flavor in one appetizer ($18), highlighting Moore’s vast breadth as a chef on a contemporary American menu that dabbles in French, Italian and Asian flavors.

Other seasonal additions to watch out for on Commerce’s menu: delicate short rib ravioli with purslane and chanterelles, delicately rolled and twisted at the ends like a pasta candy ($28); and a hearty venison loin with parsnip puree, Brussels sprouts and crisp pear salad ($32).

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