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Tocqueville Lunch -- Redux

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Tocqueville Lunch -- Redux

cabrales | Mar 20, 2004 07:44 PM

I had a good-plus lunch at Tocqueville again today (second visit). My impressions continue to be generally favorable, at least based on Saturday lunch (the only experiences I have had at this restaurant).

I began with, of course, a glass of Krug ($35). What a nice way to herald a leisurely Saturday lunch, in a tranquil and polished environment. :) The lunch opportunities on Saturday are not only the three-course $20.04 lunch (with two selections for each dish), but also a Market Lunch menu (around $30), which I ordered.

Today, the market lunch began with a porcini veloute, with truffle-oil flavor and fresh cockles. Interestingly, the shells are included in the quasi-thick-consistency veloute. I thought this veloute was appropriate, with a consistency that was stronger than most. I liked the fact that separately-sauteed, larger pieces of porcini had been placed in the soup. The choice of the oceany, elasticky-textured whole cockles was unusual relative to the porcini, but it worked appropriately.

The entree in the Market Menu was wild stripped bass, which was appropriately cooked and had slivers of orange peel atop. A hint of sweetness from a puree, a slightly, slightly foamy butter/oil-based saucing, and nicely cooked, still quasi-crunchy, but appropriately oily (just a bit) young lettuce leaves. I didn't think the little diced bits of black truffle were necessary to the dish, but they also didn't detract. This was a nice dish. I ordered a Chenin Blanc by the glass.

The dessert for the menu was Granny Smith "pizza", a thin tart with slices of apple forming a semi-circle, with a flavored ice cream on top. I didn't sample this, although it looked appropriate, because I am increasingly reluctant to take in desserts. My dining companion liked this dessert, though, as well as the delicate (but large) panna cotta flavored gingerly with citrus, with slices of blood orange, grapefruit and tangerine or mandarin included. Little dried bits of citrus zest were sprinkled over the panna cotta. I had instead a glass of Mas Amiel from the 1980s. I had previously sampled this for the first time, in terms of the genre, at Christian Tetedoie in Lyons (one-star). Somewhat port-like, including upon aging.

Over the course of the meal, I also sampled the foie gras terrine. A nice piece of terrine, although I found the driblet of white truffle oil on the foie unnecessary. An interesting accompaniment consisted of a little bit of apricot with vanilla. The apricot was appropriately subdued in the mouth, but more evident on the nose.

I plan to return, probably for another Saturday lunch in the next few months.

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