Myself and two friends went to D'artagnan (152 East 46th St. btw Lex. & 3rd Ave.) last Wednesday for a birthday celebration. We had a great time and I wanted to share my impressions...
We started with two appetizers:
(1) La Planche de Charcuterie: "Traditional French charcuterie platter including; Jambon de Bayonne, saucisson sec, mousse, country pâté, and cornichons." $9(description from their website)
The mousse and country pate really stood out in my mind. The other items were very, very good...but we all thought those two items exceptional.
(2) L'Assiette des 3 Foie Gras/Foie Gras 3 Ways: "Terrine of duck Foie Gras au Natural, Gascon sushi (foie gras rolled in duck prosciutto) and French Kiss (prune marinated in Armagnac stuffed with mousse of Foie Gras)." $21
Oh my LORD...this appetizer was decadent, delicious and fun. They provide toast points (incidentally, the bread is really good as well...too good probably) for the terrine of duck foie gras. It's everything you hope foie gras to be; rich, smooth, flavorful. The Gascon sushi was interesting to look at and fun to eat; the prosciutto gave a nice textural and flavor counterpoint to the foie gras. (The prosciutto was smoky, salty and gave your teeth something to work on vs. the foie gras which was creamy, rich, and melted in your mouth.) Lastly, the "French Kiss"...wow. The prune itself would have been a treat...all marinated in Armagnac like that. However, they had to take it one step further in stuff it with foie gras! My heart be still! (It practically could have with all the rich foie gras-laden food we had!) Each prune (3 in the order) was about 1.5 to 2 inches long and, after stuffing, about 1 to 1.25 inches in diameter. Quite a treat! A woman we talked with at the bar told us that she has these flown down every year for her New Years Party in New Orleans. Lucky friends!
Our entrees were as follows:
(1) Macaronade de Foie Gras aux Champignons Sauvages: "Penne with foie gras and wild mushroom sauce." $22
We ordered the appetizer size, because we figured we'd all share our dishes and because the apps were so rich and filling. Luckily we didn't order the full entree size. This dish was SO rich and earthly; there were large chunks of mushrooms along with nuggets of foie gras (not many, but they may have been reduced into the sauce). The sauce was a rich, brown sauce that tasted heavily of mushrooms and foie gras. One minus: it was a very oily sauce, then again...what can you expect when one of the main three ingredients is foie gras?
(2) Cuisse de Canard Confite: "Duck leg confit served on frisée salad and sautéed potatoes." $19
This was a beautiful dish with a wonderfully flavored (and large) piece of duck (leg and thigh). The meat was tender, yet firm and rich. It didn't seem as fatty as other duck dishes in other restaurants that I've had, but I'm sure that doesn't mean it wasn't fatty. Maybe they just did a really good job of working it into the dish.
(3) Le Poulet de la Ferme Bio: "Free range organic roasted chicken with its natural juices." $16.50
This wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but what it was was an exceptionally roasted chicken.
Desserts...we barely had room, but it was a birthday party, so we had to try.
(1)Rustic Cheese Plate: "Le Petit Basque (Pyrénées sheep's milk cheese), Roquefort and goat cheese with Griotte (black cherry) jam." $12
The goat cheese was wonderful as was the Pyrenees sheep's milk cheese. The sheep's milk cheese starts out really strong, but then mellows out into almost a sharp Swiss flavor. The Roquefort was very good, but nothing special.
(2) Fondant au Chocolat $7
Very rich dessert with a big semi-sweet chocolate flavor. The texture was somewhere between a chocolate bar and a thick, dense torte.
BE FORWARNED: this is NOT light fare. I don't know if I'd eat this food in summer, esp. the entrees we ordered. (I don't know if they're menu changes to suit the season.) This is heavy, rich, wonderfully decadent food. Definitely good for winter/autumn and for a celebration!
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