Had valentine's day dinner at Lucques on Saturday. It was my first visit to this highly touted spot. The tasting menu was $75 a person. Started with a delicious blood orange juice martini.
Bread was served with an excellent butter (I've seen it touted elsewhere on this board), olives, salt, and almonds.
The first dish was an oyster on the half shell with a grilled sausage on top of it. The sausage was tasty-- gamey, savory, a little spicy-- but pairing it with an oyster was pointless, as the oyster was totally overpowered.
Next was a single platter of "antipasti" food items that was intended to be shared. The items on the plate were hard to distinguish. The plate had some cheese, some meat, some olives, some marinated vegetables. One major problem throughout the dinner was that our waiter never explained to us what-all was on the plates we were being served. The overall impression I have is that it was just a mess of marinated stuff.
For the third course, my fiance had the black bass, and I had the steak. The black bass was absolutely exquisite and by far the most memorable dish served that evening. The steak was quite acceptable but not nearly as impressive as the fish.
The dessert was kind of like the antipasto course...a single plate came out with a mess of different stuff on it. I detected marshmallow (but why?) and certainly chocolate, cream, etc. Again, the waiter offered no explanation, and we were sharing off the same plate, so I only remember it as a mess. Hmm, maybe the messiness was intended to be hedonistic and sensual? Well, then I wish the dessert items had been more delicious and memorable.
Some chowhound recently posted the astute observation that the restaurant industry calls Valentine's day "amateur night" because the clientele are on average not the people that would dine there on any other night of the year. So that said, I suspect Lucques did not make an effort to rise above that stereotype...this could not be the Lucques you've all been writing about.
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