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Chanterelle - more money than taste...

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Chanterelle - more money than taste...

Roger Lee | Jul 31, 2003 11:19 AM

Dined at Chanterelle this past Saturday with my wife and four of our closest friends. We all did the $95 tasting menu and after comparing notes, it's a practically unanimous decision. The laurels have not been merely rested upon, it seems someone's been sleeping on them. The food wasn't bad per se, but nothing really sang and at pretty much a C/person, I expect a little wow.

White Asparagus Soup with smoked salmon. The cold asparagus soup was very nice. Cool, delicate with plenty of asparagus flavor - that is until some of the smoked salmon hit your palate. The assertive flavor of the salmon completely overwhelmed the asparagus.

Pan-seared Foie Gras with figs. This was good, but such a textbook dish. The foie gras itself was a tiny bit meagre and the presentation was completely nondescript.

Soft-shelled crab with ginger herb sauce. This was a mixed bag, some liked their crab, some didn't. The ginger sauce was nicely handled, delicately gingery with a hint of an asian flair.

Niman Ranch Pork Tenderloin medallions with a wine reduction sauce. Is anyone else getting tired of seeing the Niman Ranch brand all over everything? The pork was beautifully roseate, but a bit tough. The wine reduction sauce had an off flavor to it.

Assortment of cheeses - Superb. By the way, did we mention that all of these cheeses are available at Murray's cheese shop?

Desserts - I'm not a big dessert person, so this is all a little fuzzy to me, we ordered an assortment and a few of them were actively disliked by our dessert people.

Service. Friendly, but not terribly attentive. Several times, I looked around the table and there were wine glasses empty practically all around, even though there was plenty of wine in the bottle just out of reach in a bucket a few feet away. When we needed to order another bottle of wine for the next course, the sommelier not only had no awareness that we might need his attention but actually couldn't be found. By the time the order was placed, the course had hit the table. Halfway through that course, the sommelier returned to inform us that they don't have the wine in question. When I was able to confabulate with him, the sommelier picked some nice moderate wines for us that paired nicely with the food.

We ended up at about $170/person.

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