I've loved this place for a long time, but haven't been since they a) got a brand-new chef; and b) changed the dining room walls from the famous glowing green to a robin's-egg blue (see The Nightingale for the second coming of that green color).
Every place we go by tonight seems quiet, and in keeping with this, we're able to walk in at around 9pm despite finding it fully booked the last few Fridays we've called.
Apps: a leafy green salad which avoids the heinous crime of overdressing. A pile of deep-fried smelts such as I haven't enjoyed in years. Should have quit there, or ordered a salad, or a second basket of smelts, they were that tasty.
Entrees: roasted-garlic gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, bacon-wrapped trout on a bed of celeraise puree and red-cabbage stew. The gnocchi is my favorite kind: airy-pillowy-light. The trout is terrific, but overkill after those smelts. All this is washed down by a nice-priced white Burgundy.
Room for dessert: a trio of pot de cremes: caramel, chocolate, coffee/cardamom. Yum.
Pricey, and marked by very efficient, professional, understated service: it feels different somehow from the old green Truc, but we're still very satisfied with it.
Service bonus points: there's a date-couple next to us. He sends back a bottle of wine, claiming it's "vinegary". There's obviously nothing wrong with the wine, he just doesn't like it. The waiter asks him what kind of wine he usually likes: he can't name a varietal, let alone a vintner. The waiter is polite enough not to point out that the only legitimate reason to send back a bottle is that it's corked, and smart enough not to let this putz keep throwing darts at the wine list until he finds something that satisfies his Zima-trained palate. The waiter talks him into a couple of modest wines by the glass, and everyone seems happy. Restaurant saves money, pretentious know-nothing saves face, we are quietly entertained: a win-win-win!
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