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Montrachet -- Monday Night

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Restaurants & Bars

Montrachet -- Monday Night

cabrales | Dec 16, 2003 09:00 AM

I had a disappointnig meal (what's new in NY?) at Montrachet last night.

As members know, the restaurant is BYO no corkage on Monday nights, and I took the opportunity to effect a comparison of two bottles of champagne -- Jacques Selosse Brut and Jacques Selosse's dessert champagne called Exquise. The Brut was as usual, a good meal champagne, but the Exquise was rather sweet (particularly initially) in the aftertaste relative to my expectations and had none of the balance I would associate with Jacques Selosse. I asked the sommelier whether a dining party had ever just brought two bottles of champagne (without other bottles) on a Monday night, and he indicated not, to his recollection.

We arrived relatively late, after 9:30, and were seated in the first room upon entering the restaurant. Much of the "sharing of wine" activity I had heard about with respect to Monday nights was over, and such activity appeared more prevalent in the final (third?) room anyhow.

The wine service was appropriate and the dining room team was kind enough to separately plate the various dishes my dining companion and I shared (we ordered two plates of oysters, but everything else was shared). However, my meal was rendered quite disappointing by the cuisine, which, while not poor, could not be said to be such that I would be eager to return to the restaurant.

-- The amuse was a limp little piece of blini-like item with a tinge of lemon embedded, soaked in a cream-based sauce. The texture was terrible. Also, the slight sweetness in the blini itself did not match well with the tobiko (flying fish roe) which the blini was intended to highlight (but did not) and which was sort of scattered adjacent to the blini as well as on top of it. Not a promising start.

-- Oysters -- Fischer Island. These were fresh, but they were only average.

-- Frogs' legs with red wine reduction, tomatoes. The saucing for this was not poor, but the frogs' legs themselves, while fairly plump, lacked flavor as well as elasticity. The frog meat literally was so flavorless it tasted like chicken (and not fatty chicken at that).

-- Seared foie. This was a well-conceived dish, but suffered from a significant flaw. The time for searing was appropriate, leaving the inside supple, but the temperature of the foie before it was seared was too low. This left the interior of the foie, while an appropriate texture, literally below room temperature (sort of cold).

-- Black truffle-coated salmon. This dish lacked balance. The black truffle bits were on top of the fish's skin, and seemed to have been mixed with breadcrumbs (?). Saucing was severe, in a negative way.

-- Tarte tartin with cinnamon ice cream, berry saucing. I found this tarte tartin very wimpy, and the cinammon ice cream pedestrian.

Overall, I can't say there was a single dish with which I was satisfied. The low cost of the meal (less than $100 after tax and before tips for two), given the BYO, did not compensate for the level of the cuisine exhibited.

I should note I've had better meals at Montrachet even within the last year.

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