Celebrity chef Curtis Stone opened Maude, an homage to his grandmother, in 2014. The restaurant takes one ingredient per month, and makes that the star of the meal.
The restaurant is tasting menu only, and will typically serve 9-10 courses.
Unfortunately, Stone is not cooking in the kitchen at the current time as he is overseeing his new project, Gwen, which is scheduled to open in a couple of weeks. Gwen will be a butcher shop and restaurant, and will involve his brother. After a falling out with his original partner, Chad Colby, in how the restaurant would be run and operated, his brother then came on board.
Other than an “M” on the door, there is no signage for the restaurant. Maude is tiny, as it only seats 25 guests. The interior is simply decorated, and looks like your grandmother’s house. Even the some of the plates and dishes have flowery decorations.
Maude’s concept is to take one ingredient and make it the star of the show. June’s ingredient was cherries, so sweet, sour and savory dishes were expected.
The meal started with an oat chip and foie gras mousse. The oat chip was nutty and crunchy to offset the creaminess of the mouse. The sliced cherries added an acidic note. This was a great way to start the meal.
Next palmiers were topped with honey, taleggio cheese and cherry. The palmier was light, airy and crunchy. The honey and taleggio added some sweetness, while the acidity of the cherries cut through the richness of the cheese.
The next dish was a cherry “roll-up” with flowers, which had the texture of a pliable gel. There were hints of cherry but not very strong. Underneath was jicama and lovage. The tastes of both are subtle. Overall, this may have been my least favorite dish as it was rather bland.
The next dish contained anise leaves with porcini mushrooms. Underneath the leaves were Rainier cherries and abomasum, which is a type of tripe. The tripe was crunchy, and had no real flavor. The cherries paired well with the slight licorice flavor of the anise leaf.
Next was an Marcona almond, cherry soup. The almonds were used in making almond milk, which still had a bit of texture to it. The sweetness and tartness of the cherries went well with the almonds.
Next, was agnolotti with a ham filling, chorizo and radicchio. The pasta was cooked to a nice al dente with a meaty filling. The chorizo added a bit of spice, while the radicchio added some bitterness.
Next was cherry wood smoked sturgeon, which was firm and subtle in flavor. It was paired with cucumbers and angelica, which has a slight bitter taste. The sturgeon remained moist and firm. A very good dish.
Next was abalone with finger limes and Shishito peppers. The abalone was firm, meaty and had that familiar “musky” taste of abalone. The beans and lime helped to cut down on the “funkiness” of the abalone, while the peppers added a slight hint of heat and freshness.
Next was squab done two ways. First was seared breast with cherries and beets. The breast had a nice sear to it, but remained medium rare and juicy inside. The beets and cherries helped to offset the slight gameyness of the squab.
Part 2 was a squab “pot pie” of sorts. The top was a nice piece of puff pastry that topped a nice and hearty “stew”. The stew was full of flavor and comforting. This dish was a big hit.
Next was gaperon cheese, which is a cow’s milk cheese and mild in flavor. It was paired with an olive, caper and cherry tapenade which went well together.
An “intermezzo” of a frozen Manhattan was then served. The drink packed quite a little punch when reaching the bottom, as the top was mostly just crushed ice. This was a great little way to wake up your taste buds.
For dessert, there was a clafoutis, which was light and airy. It wasn’t as dense as some preparations. It was like a dense but light pancake topped with powdered sugar. Cherries studded the dish and added pockets of sweetness and sourness. The clafoutis was served with a cherry ice cream, which added a nice temperature contrast. A cherry sauce also added another layer of creaminess.
The meal ended with petit fours, which again were cherry themed.
For breakfast the following day, we were given a cherry scone. The scone was much flatter in appearance and a slight bit sweeter thanks to being topped with sugar crystals.
Overall, the meal was very good. The only downside to dining at Maude is that portions are very, very small. Dare I say that the portions were smaller than Alinea with roughly half the courses? If you decide to come here, come hungry, but not too hungry.