Celebrated a friend's birthday at Tocqueville last night and the experience exceeded my expectations. I had been to the old location a few times and really liked it, but the new room is so much more elegant and comfortable. We were seated right away and served the most delicious parmesan rolls and homemade salted butter. Next, came the amuse buche (sp?) -- a tiny but fabulous salad of lobster, mango, fennel and cilantro. I wish it was available as an appetizer. For apps, we shared the asparagus w/ shaved truffles and the sea urchin -- both were winners. I especially loved the briny flavor of the sea urchin. My friend got the scallops w/ foie gras and really, really liked it. I had the wild salmon w/ salmon belly, which was served with the most addicting horseradish cavier creme fraiche. The texture of the salmon was great -- very smooth -- and the flavor was sensational. For dessert, we had the caramel apple confit, the Valhorna Chocolate Souffle and because it was my friend's birday (I had mentioned it to Joanne, the very gracious hostess/owner), they brought out a piece of chocolate cake with a candle. Each dessert was sensational.
For drinks, I had vodka martini (the bartender includes an extra serving, kept chilled in a glass on ice -- nice touch) and my friend had a few glasses of reisling.
The service was perfect, unobtrusive and low key, but I always felt like we were well cared for. My friend is a bit of a food/wine snob, and I was concerned about finding a place that she would like. She loved it.
The meal wasn't cheap, but I felt like it was great value and will definitely return for special occasions.
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