When the anniversary of September 11th rolled around, Chef Martin Corso knew precisely how he wanted to honor the occasion. With his East Coast roots, Martin had spent lots of time in Manhattan. One of his favorite haunts was Windows On The World on the 106th and 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Windows On The World was also home to a smaller restaurant called Wild Blue and a bar modestly called The Greatest Bar On Earth.
Martin and cohorts Rhonda Struble and Monica Park operate The M Group, offering “cooking classes” several times a year, each with a different theme. The 24 seats are almost always packed and this past September 11th was no exception. Martin re-created dishes from Windows On The World and Wild Blue and shared his memories of a very special place.
An evening with The M Group is an intimate affair. Martin prepares the dishes as he talks about them and you can watch him up close and on a large screen TV. He started the evening with Seared Duck Breast with a chili, honey and ginger glaze served over roast corn. There was an excellent balance of sweetness and heat and the duck was packed with flavor. Salad was next, and Martin prepared a pear, watercress and endive salad with a Dijon vinaigrette. The salad was delicious, but for my taste it was over-dressed. Next up was a brochette of sea scallops and swordfish with spiced butter served over orzo. Nice and light and flat out yummy. For the entrée Martin took a sirloin strip and rubbed it with salt, pepper, rosemary, chopped garlic, cocoa and brown sugar and roasted it to perfection. He accompanied it with braised celery heart. Dessert was sublime – frozen Amaretto cream baskets with blueberries and strawberries. Magnificent.
We raised our glasses in memory of those who perished on September 11th, 2001. Martin is doing an encore this Saturday, September 18th, but it’s already sold out.
The M Group can be reached by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (951) 894-4040.
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