Lucky for me, I have been getting a lot of invites to lunch and dinner lately because I just celebrated a birthday. This afternoon, I indulged in a 3 hour lunch at Alain Ducasse. The dining room's granite columns and gilded wood immediately brought Siegfried & Roy to mind. The staff was very solicitous, which made me uncomfortable at times, but I know everybody was just dutifully doing their jobs. They all referred to me as "madame", which made me cringe!
I had the Autumnal themed tasting menu. My lobster appetizer was nice and the plate was adorned with three mysterious gelatinous disks, but it was all tasty. Next, the creamy cauliflower soup was too salty. Halibut with pumpkin on top was not my style. The sauce that accompanied it, composed of chestnuts and grapes(?) didn't turn me on. The Squab breast was my favorite dish--the skin had such a wonderful, unique flavor. A cheese course followed, and I asked for a selection of soft, mild cheeses. I was stuffed at this point and am not that into cheese, so I can't really comment. The portions are wussy-sized, but surprisingly filling. I was only able to take one bite of the warm olive brioche that came at the same time as the cheese. And then, the part I enjoyed most: The assualt of sweets! In addition to the desserts that came with our menus, the waiter brought me a complimentary chocolate cake with a candle in it because they heard we were celebrating something. Chocolates and maccaroons were left on the table. My grapefruit souffle came with grapefruit granite was very unusual and nice, though I got sick of the flavor halfway through. After this, we were given a refresher: ice cream atop mango slices and passionfruit jus. Just when we thought we couldn't eat anything more--we finished it! Then the candy cart came a-rolling. Lollipops, caramels, madeleines, financiers, tarts, and too many other goodies were offered. This is where I wished I hadn't eaten so much bread. When we left the restaurant, I was given a brioche with orange peel and raisins. It smells really nice, but I haven't tasted it yet. So, overall the food was good, but it was the experience as whole that was very enjoyable. In other words, I don't feel ripped off.