Haven't seen much posted about this place, other than brief mentions in people's lists. We finally got to try it on Friday.
First of all, it is a large space and never seemed completely packed on a Friday night, so it should be fairly easy to get a table. As a result, it was also not deafeningly noisy, which meant we could have a conversation. Lots of light due to the windows and the tables aren't squashed together so it feels more relaxed.
The cocktail menu had many options and we decided to share the R&R: rose gin, dry gin, rhubarb, citrus. It was a refreshing mix of fruit and floral, served in a gold-rimmed glass with a pansy petal.
Not up for a lot of drinking this night, we had a glass of Domaine Dampt Chablis (France), which had lots of green apple and went particularly well with the seafood. We also had a glass of Rosé Frédéric Brouca De Facto Rosé, Faugeres (France), which had a bit of strawberry and some light tannins.
From the fruits de mer menu we tried the Hokkaido scallop cru with lime, jalapeño, avocado -
and jicama, pumpkin seeds, coriander. It was essentially a Mexican ceviche and very yummy.
We selected 5 of the hors d'oeuvres:
- smoked chevre (firm cheese in leek ash with some yellow zucchini and leaves)
- oeufs curi (boiled egg with remoulade and cayenne)
- pate de grand-mere (chunky terrine with hot grainy mustard, cornichons, celeriac salad)
- sardine (cold pickled) and carrot salad
- jambon blanc (poached and then thinly sliced, so mild and nutty, with cornichons and celeriac)
The jambon blanc and sardine were our favourites.
We split a pasta dish: mushroom cocoa agnolotti with snails, hen of the woods, sauce iodine (spinach, watercress, parsley), confit garlic. This dish had a great mix of flavours and textures, but was marred by a bit too much salt - really the only misstep of the night.
We tried two of the mains. The duck magret breast was cooked medium (the way I like it) with sweet yellow cherries, beets, and taggiasca olives. A really good dish, but you will need some sides if you are ordering fewer dishes earlier on. The striped bass "catalan" was perfectly cooked and served with baby leeks (charred, delicious), mussels, cuttlefish, and salbitxada. Also a winner. We had a side dish of scapes and beans almandine - very good and very buttery.
After stretching our stomachs, we managed to sample two of the desserts. The baba au rhum featured pressed pineapple, allspice (and cardamom), white chocolate chantilly-like sauce on top. Great burnt sugar/caramel flavours. The must-have is the Paris-Brest: choux pastry with hazelnut praline cremeux - rich yet light, sweet with some salt, soft with some crunch, and very hazelnutty.
Service was attentive, not obtrusive, and informed.
Overall, worth a return for sure.
Total cost for two with tax and 20% tip: $295.