So they very kindly fit us in at 9:30pm the day we called. I'd never been. I loved the no nonsense blond wood tables and chairs, cork placemats, and simple settings. The place is very small, a true boite, which I actually thought was a bit larger because of the very clear mirror along one wall.
The maitre d' (owner) was so charming that both I and my companion thought he was flirting with each of us (no small feat).
We each ordered the $40 tasting menu (4 courses) plus a glass of excellent Sancerre each. Just about everything, except the too-sweet dessert, was impressive. I was struck by the clarity of flavors, all were extremely vivid, like pure, clear colors or perfectly pitched notes. I started with the poached salmon (in a sous-vide), which came with anchovy-lemon sauce, slightly crunchy haricots verts, and toasted hazelnuts and almonds. For such a simple dish, it was phenomenal. My companion had the grilled sea scallop with creme fraiche aioli and chorizo. Another success.
Then we both had the famous chevre-aubergine terrine. Which was divine in its simplicity. For the third course, I had the molasses glazed porcelet de lait (just a small bit, thank goodness), on a bed of poached brussels sprouts and aioli. It was fantastic and very filling. My companion had the venison carpaccio on rocket with pecorino, also simply perfect.
For dessert, I had the lemon ice-cream tarte, which was too sweet, though I understand it is difficult to create frozen desserts that don't become too sweet as they melt, because the cold can dull the sweetness. It did come with a shmear (no other word for it) of perfectly browned-yet-soft-and-sticky meringue, which was perfect in texture, though also a bit too sweet. My companion had the aged Comte Gruyere and goat camembert, which were presented on a simple wooden block, with fig confit. Mint tisanes finished off the perfect meal.
The group of youths next to us ordered the $60 7-course tasting meal prepared by the chef (all suprises). It looked amazing, but I think it was perhaps a little much for the scruffy youth sitting next to me, because by the 6th course, he had fallen asleep and his friends were gently teasing him.
I can't believe I waited so long to try out this restaurant. It now ranks high among my favorites, right up there with Au Cinquieme Peche.
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