Went with some friends to Church and State last night and had an excellent meal. I have not been a huge fan of Arroyo’s places, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the space itself is lovely – albeit loud – and the food and service top notch. Great drinks at the bar, and the bartender went out of his way to make sure we were well taken care of. All the staff, in fact, from waiter to hostess to bus staff, really takes care of you.
As for the food: we ate a lot! We started off with Escargot… perhaps the highlight of the night. Even if you think you don’t like snails, and I don’t particularly, this is one of the best dishes I’ve had in a long time. You get 5-6 individual dishes topped with puff pastry and filled with garlicky goodness. We also tried the Bone Marrow flan. I was not a huge fan, mostly because I am not a fan of the consistency of flan. Everyone else loved it, and it came with a terrific radish and parsley salad. We also had one of the tarts. Also terrific. They are huge and served on a very cool wooden board. My only suggestion here would be for a half size for an appetizer. But I am not complaining.
We tried all three salads: frisee, egg and lardon salad; baby lettuces with herbs and a citrus vinaigrette; endive. All were excellent. The dressings in particular were top notch. If I had to choose one, go for the endive.
Then as entress we had: steak frites, cassoulet, mussels and mac and cheese. The steak frites was served sliced, not always my favorite, but the meat was excellent, perfect temperature with a terrific char, and the fries outstanding. I loved my Cassoulet. It was vegetarian and different than a normal cassoulet… I think the type varies night by night. But when something is this good, who cares if it is not the norm. The vegetables were fresh and perfectly cooked, and it had a creamy, flavorful sauce. The mac and cheese was good. My friend who ordered the mussels liked not loved them. She felt they could have had more flavor. But it would be tough for anything to beat the juice that came with the escargots.
All said… great service, great food. I look forward to returning to hit some of these again and also see what the roast chicken is like!