For New York’s most unjustly overlooked upscale restaurant, simetrias nominates Tocqueville.
A pretheater dinner last week was a generous showcase of fresh seasonal flavors from Chef Marco Moreira—and an attractive deal at three courses for $44 (plus three wine pairings for $15 more). For simetrias, the meal began with an amuse of pâtélike lobster tofu, followed by six excellent Fisher Island oysters on the half shell. Others at her table enjoyed spring pea soup (served with pancetta croutons) and white asparagus (with slow-poached egg and black garlic crostini).
For her entrée, simetrias chose confit of sea bass, described as moqueca style—not especially Brazilian, as it turned out, but delicious nonetheless, served with eggplant reminiscent of ratatouille. Other winning main courses included skate and risotto (one recent variation has featured favas, mushroom, and wild ramps).
For dessert, the crowd-pleaser was churros with a trio of sauces: chocolate, tres leches, and Kahlúa sabayon. A cheese plate and a selection of ice creams and sorbets also went over well.
simetrias and her companions enjoyed this weeknight feast, flawlessly paced and served, in a nearly empty dining room. “I don’t understand why Tocqueville isn’t more crowded,” she muses, “or why everyone goes ga ga over Eleven Madison Park (which I also enjoy) but not over Tocqueville.” RGR agrees: “it flabbergasts me that Tocqueville seems to travel under the usual culinary radar.” She adds that its prix fixe lunch—three courses for $24—“is an unbelievable bargain for food of such high caliber.”
1 E. 15th Street (at Fifth Avenue), Manhattan
Board Link: Why I love Tocqueville (review)