We Ate Dinner At The Michelin-Starred Restaurant That Was Funded On Kickstarter, And It Was Fantastic

Earning a Michelin star is an achievement many professional chefs spend their lives working toward.

But amazingly enough, Chef Matt Lambert got his star within four months of opening his own restaurant, The Musket Room, with the help of Kickstarter funds.

He and his management team ultimately raised $US25,636 from 123 backers on the crowdfunding site.

The Musket Room, in New York City’s Nolita neighbourhood, features cuisine native to New Zealand, with traditional seafood dishes and red deer among the highlights.

We recently paid a visit to The Musket Room to try it out for ourselves.

Live plants hang in front of the entrance to the Musket Room, located on Elizabeth Street in Nolita.

Inside, the woodsy theme continues, complete with a live tree sprouting from the bar.

The restaurant is fairly small, with only two rooms to seat guests.

When we visited for dinner, we were seated in the back room, which had a view of the garden. Building codes keep the restaurant from seating customers in the backyard, but they do use it to grow herbs and other ingredients that they incorporate into dishes. There was a pleasant smell of wood burning, which the manager informed us was due to the way their smoked scallops dish was prepared.

Downstairs in the kitchen, Chef Lambert was hard at work.

Line chefs worked on plating dishes, like the smoked scallops seen here.

There was plenty of activity in the kitchen, but it stayed remarkably calm.

These dishes are all ready to go.

You can order your meal à la carte, but if you'd like the full experience, they offer both five- and ten-course tasting menus.

There are plenty of New Zealand wines to choose from, but we were intrigued by the in-house soda fountain and the many possible combinations it offered.

On the left is a kiwi-ginger beer combination, while on the right is a blackberry soda water.

We started out with bacon-cheddar brioche, which was warm and delicious.

Next came the broccoli soup, prepared with broccoli oil and an oxtail croquette.

As my starter, I had the cold smoked scallops, which were served with cucumbers, black garlic, pears, and sea beans. The server brought it out on a covered serving platter, which gave off sweet-smelling smoke once the top was removed. The presentation of this dish was fantastic, and it almost seemed too beautiful to eat.

My friend had the quail, presented with blackberries, bread sauce, and roasted onions. It was a heavier alternative to my scallops dish, but the flavours were just as complex.

Our next small plate was the Ora salmon, a fish native to New Zealand, served with satsuma, vanilla oil, and sunflower seeds. This plate was gorgeous, with colourful oils that glittered and dehydrated oranges that tasted like candy.

For my entree, I went with a dish appropriately called 'Chicken and the egg.' It consisted of chicken breast medallions served with an egg confit on top. Once the yolk broke, it mixed wonderfully with the chicken and accompanying sauce, though it was a bit on the salty side.

My friend had the New Zealand red deer, flavored with gin and served with roasted artichokes.

For dessert, we tried the passion fruit pavlova. The crisp meringue crust gave way to a light, custard-filled center that was delicious but not overly sweet. It was an exceptional finish to the meal.

Now see some other amazing restaurants with humble beginnings.

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