Went to Marisol Friday night and sat on the lovely patio (although the moving christmas light reindeer on the roof startled me severely at one point). Our service, while not Commander's formal or Galatoire's flair, was friendly and pretty prompt. I HAD to order the foie gras en bocal appetizer after the intriguing disagreement a few weeks ago, and for those who, like me, were unclear as to what was involved, they take the foie, stuff it in a little jar, steam it, then dump it on a plate at your table, where you smear it on toast and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Oh yeah, there were truffles in with it, too. And you eat it all with your hands. I found it totally luscious, although I think by an eyelash I prefer it seared.
I then had a perfectly, perfectly done piece of drum that my fisherman SO swore had been swimming that morning, based on the complete lack of any fishiness, under a mustardy aioli coupled with large but absolutely tender asparagus spears, and fingerling potatoes. The SO had the salmon (crispy skin, moist and lovely interior) on baby greens and roasted beet and lump crabmeat salad. For dessert, the hot chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla.
The whole thing was flawless. Everything was clearly completely fresh and prepared to show off each flavor rather than mask anything. I was expecting to be impressed based on the opinions expressed here, but my SO is a cuisine purist and is predispositioned to pooh-pooh fusiony sorts of preparations. I think he ended up being more enthusiastic about it than I was. It's possible that this is because he had a glass of wine and I didn't (due to a short round of antibiotics). It also could be because I was trying to remember every detail so I could write about it here, and I'm wondering if that took me a little out of the moment, to put it sort of in pop psychology terms. So I ended up self-consciously concentrating on every mouthful and I think ended up denying myself of that ineffable "wow" moment. But that's my own thing. I'm adding myself to the pantheon of Marisol believers. Now I have to try the tapas Fridays.