Last night we, a party of four, went to Campton Place to celebrate a birthday. We were in a rush to make a 7:30 symphony engagemet so we had to only do two courses, we decided on apptizers and entrees and skipped the dessert.
Overall the appetizers/soup/salad selection seemed more interesting than the entrees. For the table we had crayfish in puff pastry, chestnut soup garnished with mini dice of smoked duck, and seared ahi tuna. I got to have a taste of everyone elses' dish, and I liked the sear ahi tuna the best. Many places serve seared ahi, and it's getting to be old hat, but Campton Place's ahi is a notch above the others. Three perfectly seared medallions of tuna came with a very interesting pickled red peppercorns on the side. Eaten together the effect is gingery, firery and buttery all at the same time. My chestnust soup was good, but slightly too salty for my taste. I expected more chestnut taste, but I think the broth base was duck stock so overalll I tasted more duck than chestnuts. It was still a delicious soup and something I have not had before. I can't say too much on the crayfish in puffpastery, I don't remember my taste not much...though I remember it was creamy and crunchy.
For entree we had squab a la orange, black seabass with wild mushroom saute and lamb three ways: lamb loin, brasied lamb shoulder and lamb bone with a ball of white marrow. I had the fish. A very well done pieces of fish, very moist and tender. But overall with the mushroom saute the whole entree was a bit on the bland side. I suppose it could have been intended to be that way, not bland but just unadultated fish.
The squab was a bit disappointing for me as well, though I only had a few bites of it. Two large thigh pieces came on the plate with some stuffting looking thing and sauteed greens. The server poured the orange sauce over the legs, which I think was the problem, the sauce soften the skin and the skin became rubbery. The orange sauce wasn't too impressive. Of all the entree, the lamb was probably the most well done. Three perfectly cooked medium lamb preparation, each tasted different by the different treatment, each was juicy and not gamy at all.
Overall the food was expertly handled and well presented, but perhaps all a bit on the bland or understated side. The interior was lovely and elegant, inspiring quietness without being stuffy like Elizebeth Daniel can be. The service was exceptional, not hovering and not absent, just right there when you needed them. They treated us so well and when we opted not to have dessert and had them rush everything they took it all in stride.
The price was a bit high though I think. The average entree prices were around mid thirties. The services and the decor warrant such high prices, but food was not. I think high twenties would have been more fair.
We ordered an excellent half bottle of Heaven's 99 merlot. A look around the room, two other table had the same thing.
Will I go back? Probably not, but am glad I did go once to experience it.
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