thanks for all the responses to my query (9/10). my friend with the expense account and i went to gerards place today for the prix fixe lunch. for 2 at 12:30 and no other customers there. in the almost 1 1/2 hrs we were there only 2 other tables were filled. so clearly a marketing issue.
the food was very good. we both had the cold soup and veal chop. i had the chocolate fondant and he had the peach/blueberry soup. other app was mixed green salad and other entree was a poached salmon. the soup was tomato with fennel (not much fennel taste). the chop was braised and came with excellent fingerling potatos and thinly sliced sauteed carrots (nice garlic taste, without going overboard). presentation was first rate.
both desserts were very good. my wife is a chocoholic so i have tasted a lot of dense chocolate desserts and this was up there with the best i've had. the peaches had been poached in sauternes and a few added blueberries. also great.
the room is a mixed bag. a very good attempt to disguise an old room. has old dropped ceiling but has been painted and then covered with hanging textiles. very nice contemporary art. pretty tatty around the edges, however. mens room has old framed golf posters and a roll of paper towels.
service was very good. no tricks w/ the cost. was $29 as advertised. wine by the glass was from around $9 to 13. had a nice cote de rhone which had been properly opened up. the a la carte menu looked very inviting but the prices were tres cher (signature lobster dish at $52, etc.)