Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

Tocqueville report

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Restaurants & Bars 5

Tocqueville report

Denis | Jun 3, 2005 10:45 AM

Went here for the first time on Memorial Day. My overall reaction was one of serious respect of the integrity of what was going on there, though not one of striking sensual pleasure.

I had the sea urchin carbonara appetizer, which was very enjoyable, mainly because of the delicious carbonara sauce. The sea urchine didn't make that much of an impact flavor-wise, at least to me (girlfriend said it did for her), but undoubtedly it added to the unctuousness of the dish. A friend had an appetizer billed as sashimi something, which seemed to me like a pretty standard tuna tartare-type in concept, though it was nicely done. Girlfriend had creamless pea soup with crab--a classic combo, but again very cleanly and nicely done. Also had a half dozen kumamoto, which were minerally and nice.

Entrees: My friend had the lamb, roasted rack, braised some other part. I tasted the braised--again, not revelatory, just really good. Girlfriend had the roasted seabass with beef boullion, marrow, some kind of barley, and beef terrine on the side. The roastedness of the fish made little impression, but the marrow and the barley made for very pleasant complements. I had the veal medallions with ramps and chanterelles. This was a bit disappointing. The medallions were rather tepid and not that flavorful (of course it was veal, and thus inherently mild), and the sauce did little to punch it up.

Desserts: The other two had a chocolate combo thing, and I had some kind of custard-y think with a little cake (rhubarb?). It was all pretty good, not remarkable.

We also had a round of drinks and a bottle of $50-ish wine. Total was a bit over $400, so it was pretty pricey, but we kind of knew that going in.

In all, very good, though not overwhelming, and a bit steep at least for me. Again, though, I admired the integrity.

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