I had no idea this place was even here, and frankly, it's a bit of an oasis that is the unbearable scene that is the Meatpacking District.
Walk into the Intersect by Lexus space, and while it looks uber-trendy, it has a normal vibe. There's a café downstairs, with a restaurant upstairs (more on that in a separate post), and there is a rotating art installation in a public gallery on the ground level. Right now you can still catch "Design in Motion: A New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala Retrospective."
On the second floor of Intersect by Lexus is a restaurant and lounge, which serve as a showcase for popups of popular restaurants in other major cities.
When I went, Mishiguene of Buenos Aires was the restaurant-in-residence, illustrating Executive Chef Tomás Kalika’s personal take on modern Jewish cuisine with a contemporary Argentine lens.
More about the chef from the Intersect website, which I find both fascinating and important to read:
Born in Buenos Aires, trained in Jerusalem, and the son of Polish immigrants, Jewish-Argentinian chef Tomás Kalika of Mishiguene honors the diverse palate and rich culture of the Jewish diaspora. Since moving back to his home city and opening Mishiguene, Kalika has meticulously curated and seamlessly crafted a fine dining experience to remember. From the music to the dishware, no detail is too small, and he is bringing the same level of design and intention to the heart of the Meatpacking District.
From humble beginnings, Kalika began working under the masterful hand of Eyal Shani—a pioneer of modern Israeli cuisine—at just 17-years-old. His cooking is deeply influenced by the cooking of his Polish grandmother, who kept her family’s traditional dishes alive in Buenos Aires.
And the meal was INCREDIBLE. The meal started off with a Borscht that was so creamy and yogurt-like that if it were sold at Whole Foods, I'd buy a tub of it. But before consuming, you shoot the egg-like ball of yogurt and olive oil. I don’t know why, and I don’t care. It tasted great, and I’d get it again.
That was followed by the kibbeh, an inspired take on Babaganoush, a massive hummus plate, a bottomless pita basket, Spätzle (as if I haven't had enough in the last month), and potato ravioli.
All of that was paired with the wines of Terrazas de los Andes—including the not-yet-available Terrazas Grand Malbec—sourced from Mendoza, Argentina. Winemaker Anais Maillet, a native from the Bordeaux region of France, did an overview of the pairings as well as shared info about the winemaking process at Terrazas and its high-altitude vineyards.
The Terrazas 2017 Reserva Malbec was my favorite (paired with the kibbeh). With a 14% alcohol level, it was aged between 12-14 months in French oak barrels. Here are the tasting notes, via the winery’s website:
Color: Bright red color with purple shades.
Nose: Intense floral and fruity notes. Presence of violets, ripe black cherry, and plum aromas. Reveals a toasty and spicy character of black pepper and chocolate.
Palate: Its sweet and juicy mouthfeel delivers finesse, delicate tannins, and an elegant finish of black fruits.