Wow! I love this place! Thanks to everyone for their advice. We couldn't get a table resv ourselves, but the Concierge at the Park Hyatt did for 6pm. Got there at 6:15 & they were holding our table, but there were 2 seats available (after getting a guy to move his cell phone trying to save one) at the front bar, so we grabbed them. Back bar looked great & cosy with view of chartucurie (sp?) storage, but that was totally full.
Rob was our bartender & took great care of us. Didn't want to spend heaps - they had a great wine by the glass & carafe menu - started out with a dry Vouvray & creamy, smooth & runny Vacherin cheese, served with roasted figs & walnuts. Bread was good & chewy, but bread crisps were greasy & tasteless. Olives came with a smoky chipolte spread (more for the bread than the olives) & both delicious. Then roasted dates stuffed with parmesan & wrapped in bacon - so good!!!
Ordered the Altessa chard - bottled exclusively for Lucques & very good. Speck with apples & arugula wonderful - creamy wide pink ribbons of speck (hardly any fat - I've never seen it that way in Germany, but no complaints!) & yummy dressing. Lamb chunks in feta mint salsa were a hit. Skirt steak in mustard sauce a little chewy as usual, but flavorful.
Wish I'd kept the menu so I could remember everything else. My brother joined us for 2 glasses of wine (a wonderful pinot noir - 12 Oaks?) & some food. Everything came to $146, which seemed very reasonable for 3 carafes plus 2 glasses of good wine & all that food. Was a lot of fun discussing what everyone was eating & drinking at the bar - very social. Would go back in a heartbeat.
Woke up hungry the next morning & had breakfast at the Kings Road Cafe - good hearty food - had a chicken sausage with fontina, guac, sour cream & salsa omelette (that solved all hunger problems...!)
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