Nothing new here, but I thought I would throw in a note about the first serious meal out I have had in months...
A starter course of clams mariniere were very good, but the critters continued to steam in the bottom of the bowl, so by the time we got down there, some had become quite chewy. Still delicious, but unfortunate.
For the main, we had a bowl of mussels poulette and a couple of apps to split. The mussels were outstanding - Same issue with the bottom of the bowl, but the kitchen had managed to time it perfectly so the top were just done and the bottom were not overcooked. Maybe I should credit the mussels, not the cook, but either way, they were superior to the clams. The broth was delicious, and my dinner companion ended up having quite a few soup-spoonfuls neat after we had devoured the bivalves. The warm leek tart started strong but did not get finished after the novelty wore off. Nothing wrong with it, but after a few bites, the experience was not compelling enough given how much food we had in front of us. The ahi tuna was much the opposite. First bite was not an explosion of flavor, but eaten in alternation with the white bean/watercresss salad, it quickly vanished.
We were overstuffed so did not have a creme brulee, which lives in my mind as the platonic ideal. Unless I am much hungrier, I think next time I would cut out the clams. Splitting a bowl of mussels and two other plates (entrees or apps depending on how hungry) would have been plenty of food, and would have left room for dessert.
Usually charming, the thick french accent of our waitron actually ended up being a bit of a communication block. I also had the very disturbing feeling of being out on a date in high school. Wierd combination of low chair, recent conversation with my older brother, and the dastardly sabbatical from eating out for dinner all contributed.