Dinner at Lion D’Or was a sumptuous business meal for eight people; consequently, I was surreptitiously trying to take pictures and sharing plates was not a possibility. We started the evening with a magnum of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, Grand Siecle, 2000, a rich, complex wine with elements of a white peach stone fruit. A small platter of amuse which were sampled in the upstairs bar included herby gourgeres (surprisingly cold) and cigars of puff pastry with a hint of herb.
A 1996 Puligny Montrachet 1er “Combettes” Domaine Leflaive was the first wine opened and was very well received. I paired that with a starter of Langoustines and Aubergines; caviar-flavored with tapenade of Taggiasca olives, olive oil, and a hint of mild pimiento and green anise. In all honesty, I am not sure the delicacy of the langostines held up well with the strong eggplant flavors.
The next wine opened was 1986 Château Mission Haut Brion Pessac Léogror, Grand Cru Classée, a truly elegant offering. My first official fish course was a young turbot, pan-sautéed with artichokes and fritters of olives from Nyons. Well, the fritters of olives were that: deep fried. The whole dish was unremarkable and unmemorable. Continuing with the Haut Brion, I had “young pigeon well-seasoned in black cocotte sauge of legs and wild-mushrooms [served with a] compote of pumpkin-flavored with nutmeg.” I don’t get pigeon very often so I was surprised at how tough it was. Again, an unremarkable offering and rather sloppily plated.
Another wine ordered, 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Henry Bonneau, Cuvée Réserve des Céleshins, was shared with the cheese. 1971 Château Gilette “Crème de Tête” Sauternes Preignac. Roast pear with Tonka beans, wanut biscuit, caramel ice cream and crystal salt. I actually liked the dessert a lot; far from elegant or refined, but with good flavors. Over-all for the prices (roughly 50 € for starters and 90 € for fish and meat courses) the food was shockingly mediocre. It was a beautiful evening with sterling service and great people, but nary a flavor or plate to wow. Sadly, writing this up only two days after meal, I can remember very little other than I was mostly unimpressed.