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Troquet review

Chris VR | Mar 18, 2003 05:48 PM

We went to Troquet for a pre-theater dinner on Saturday. I’m not a wine expert but I grabbed one of the xeroxed copies of the wine menus they leave on the table so you can see what you are getting after you order. A very nice touch! So I’ll give my impressions on the wine as well as the food. I had called for a reservation on Thursday and the only availability was 5pm, which was perfectly fine with us, but the person who booked our table told us we needed to be out by 7:30, when the table was booked again. I thought that was really unnecessary; how many people take much more than two and a half hours to eat their meal? And at 7:30 there were plenty of open tables.

As others have noted, the menu is set up a bit differently than most restaurants’. They have an extensive selection of wines by the glass (2oz and 4oz pours), and the menu is structured to help you match your wine and food. With each course, we ordered one or more of the suggested wines. We particularly appreciated 2 touches: being given our choice of table (we chose one by the window that was a bit drafty but had a space heater) and having the prices recited with the specials without having to ask. Our server was very attentive and friendly.

Rolls were pretty good, although were a bit cool and would have benefited from a little time in the warmer. They were continually offered throughout the meal except, oddly, with the cheese course. But when we asked, we received. Fresh butter was scooped out by a server from a big tub, a nice touch and very tasty butter.

I started with a filled mushroom pastry (pissaladiere?) that was out of this world. One of the best things I have ever had in my mouth, each bite was bursting with earthy, flavorful goodness. Hubby had a tuna sashimi appetizer which I believe came on a bed of ground toro, was drizzled with sesame oil and had some sort of crackers on the side. It was very good.

With the app, I ordered a glass of 1998 Stefano, Barolo. By itself, I didn’t love the wine- it had a very astringent tannic taste that reminded me of band-aids. But paired with the food, it was pretty good, with the mushrooms softening the taste of it. Hubby got a specially priced flight of the 3 suggested Rieslings, 2001 Von Hovel Scharzhofberg Rieslings: Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese. We enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about rieslings this way and concluded that the Kabinett was our favorite. All three paired very well with the sashimi.

For an entree, I had seared scallops and hubby had the rib eye (at $36, the most expensive entree on the menu.) He was a bit surprised at the large size of the ribeye but somehow managed to put it all away as it was perfectly cooked and quite delicious. It came with green beans that were fine. There was also a side of what is possibly the worst mashed potatoes we have encountered at a restaurant. They tasted like they came from an instant mix. Blech. My scallops were cooked perfectly, but the preparation was boring, without much taste. I can’t remember what the menu said if it, but all I remember tasting was scallops and I was looking for a little more varied flavor.

Hubby had a cabernet (don’t remember which one) with the steak, which he said was good, not great. I had a glass of 2000 D.Zind Humbrecht, Gewurtztraminer, Herrenweg which I really enjoyed, sweet but not cloyingly so, with lovely floral overtones.

We could not pass up the cheese course, and went for the option to have 6 cheeses. Our waiter brought over the cheese tray which had about 10 choices. All of the 6 we chose were very good but our favorite was Pecorino Tartufo, which had an amazing texture, somehow moist and crumbly at the same time, studded with black truffles. FANTASTIC! We also very much enjoyed the Vacherin Mont d’Or which was so runny it was served with a spoon. Oddly, the bread that came with the cheeses was a dense bread studded with cranberries. It was good but IMO sometimes detracted from the taste of the cheese. We asked for some of the plain rolls to better enjoy the cheese.

With the cheese, I had a fantastic Port: 1983 Barros, Colheita. It was very complex, with a wonderful progression of flavors. At various times, I tasted vanilla, raisin, honey and butterscotch. Hubby had M.V. Dow’s, 10 year old Tawny, which was fine but IMO didn’t compare to mine.

We shared a dessert: Vanilla Panna Cotta wth Pear Sorbet and raspberries. Not bad but wasn’t anything special. Hubby had an espresso.

The bill, with tax and pre-tip, came to about $180. We’d go back, more for the wine, apps and cheese course (as others here have said.)

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