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Restaurants & Bars 9

Bastide - long!

vidia | Sep 11, 200412:34 PM

Well, it had to be done. Finally went to Bastide again last night to sample what the new chef, Ludovic Lefebvre, had to offer. We had the chef's menu ($125) - the most expensive thing on offer, but not Urasawa-ish. I didn't take contemporaneous notes, so forgive some lapses.

Cutting to the chow:
1. First amuse bouche - a deconstruction of a bloody mary - pureed tomato, avocado and a dollop of celery sorbet on a spoon, to be ingested in one go.

2. Second amuse bouche - lobster with a slice of daikon radish. My bouche was amused.

3. Bluefin tuna accompanied with coconut ice-cream, a slice of pineapple and some pineapple relish. The sauce balanced the flavors out with a peppery kick.

4. Seared foie gras, in a sweetish sauce. A lovely fat piece!

5. Dourade, with a crab sauce. Accompanied by mashed potatoes flavored with white chocolate that worked surprisingly well.

6. Panfried stripe bass, with wasabi sauce, mushrooms and cucumbers.

7. Palate cleanser of grape sorbet in Grey Goose vodka.

8. Perfectly cooked tenderloin (about medium) in a red wine reduction with more sliced radishes, a parsley puree (yuck!) and a lovely grilled shallot.

9. Cheese plate - I forget what I chose, but it was all good! Accompanied by dried apricots and prunes, crisp walnuts and bread with raisins and olives.

10. I had a perfect chocolate souffle for dessert, accompanied by mandarin slices and a lemon granita (I thought the granita worked especially well with the warm chocolatey ooze). My companion had a dark chocolate cake topped with a crispy chocolate wafer, accompanied by a chocolate-mango mousse. I thought I got the better dessert (a throwback to L'Orangerie?)

We did not drink other than a glass of champagne each to start. It wasn't the memorable meal I had when I last went to Bastide, but that was when it first opened, they had a special truffle menu from which we supplemented our food, and we had the wine pairings which matched fantastically. Still, an excellent meal, although Lefebvre clearly has a sweet tooth which I would have preferred a lighter touch of. Service was excellent, as to be expected, and we were brought into the kitchen after to say hello. We also saw Lefebvre come out a few times to chat with guests. The only odd note was the long wait time between courses, especially given the restaurant was not full (although operating at about 80% of capacity, at least at the earlier seating).

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