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Restaurants & Bars 21

MHO on French Laundry

dy | Jun 16, 2006 04:46 PM

I have one word to say, "Manresa". Forget about FL, go to Manresa for exciting and creative food, for half the price. I just came back from FL. They charged $210 for dinner per person, which is 4 times more than the last time I went, albeit it was 15 years ago. On top of that, two items on the menu have an supplement charge -- $30 for froi gras, and $150 for Wagyu (for 2 people). I found it offensive, not to mention audacious that they would be gouging so shamelessly. If the food was exceptional, perhaps the price would be justifiable. Yet of all the dishes we sampled, only 2 really stood out. The lobster was done in the "Sous Vide" style which was marvellously tender and flavorful, and a salad of plout and heart of peach palm, which was as refreshing as it can be. (I don't have the menu with me at the moment, so this is from memory.) Amuse bouch did not wow us at all -- puff pastry with gruyere cheese, tuna tartar with creme fraiche in a mini cone. At any other restaurant, these maybe fine, but we are talking FL here. What bothers us more is the ordinary dessert -- mango sorbert as one, chocolate opera like cake with malt ice cream as the other. Again, not something you expect from FL. The overkill though was the Mignardises -- truffles after truffles, soft and hard candies, mini palmiers... It seemed like a quantity over quality kind of strategy, which was just too much. I would prefer to see them put more energy in the main dishes instead. My overall impression was that even though nothing tasted bad, but for that kind of money I certainly expect something a lot more spectecular and satisfying.

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