I've never reviewed anything on CH before but I felt compelled after an amazing dining experience at Ortolan (both food and service).
My friend and I finally went to Ortolan on Tuesday after talking about it for many months. The restaurant was relatively empty however we have heard that this is typically for Tuesdays and right after the holidays (in this case, Passover). We knew exactly what we were going to get: Menu Plaisir which is an 11 course tasting menu as follows:
Amuse Bouche – 2 test tubes of soup (tomato and thyme), “eggplant caviar” or baba ghanoush (served with bread: variety of ciabatta, wheat, raisin and 1 other)
1) Foie Gras Terrine with chutney of fruit – excellent with toasted brioche bread
2) Bay Scallops – perfectly cooked
3) Egg with whipped cream, vanilla and caviar – served in a hard egg shell. Very rich but delicious
4) Cuttlefish – this was my friend’s favorite. The broth/sauce that it was cooked in was very flavorful
5) Lobster spaghetti with morel mushrooms– gorgeous presentation, the spaghetti was wrapped around the lobster, like a cannoli. Unfortunately this version was prepared differently from the online menu (which called for sea urchin sauce). Hopefully they’ll have it next time!
6) Rouget – fish with crispy skin. Another favorite of my friend’s.
7) Duck Laque – One of my favorites. The duck was cooked perfectly with a caramelized skin, served with a cigar confit. Yummy!
8) Veal – This was also excellent. The veal was delicious and not at all gamey
At this point in time, my friend and I were full and about the keel over. But there was still the cheese plate and desserts to go.
9) Cheese plate/caramel dessert – since I don’t eat cheese, the chef prepared a dessert plate for me instead: caramel parfait with apple sorbet
Sorbet – to cleanse the palate
10) Chocolate Ganache – rich and delectable
11) Panna Cotta – served in a caviar jar with faux caviar made up of strawberry. I really enjoyed this dessert and it was a lovely presentation
Finally, our server came by with petit fours (including macaroons, marshmallows and soft candies). We were definitely stuffed at this point.
Drinks – Since I was sick, I stuck to a 2 drink maximum which included a Bourgone Blanc (excellent, crisp) and the Alma Rossa Chardonnay.
Service – Excellent! Our server Antonio was very knowledgeable, attentive and helpful. Chef Eme came by our table a couple times to check up on us and was both warm and engaging. He also rushed out of the kitchen to bid us goodbye when we left.
I thought the service was exceptional and the food unforgettable. My friend and I have been patrons of many other excellent restaurants including Sona and Providence and we definitely felt that our visit to Ortolan was one of our favorite experiences. The food was excellent and service was outstanding, although I did gain 2 pounds (I weighed!). Totally worth it, I will definitely be back.