We knew that a special treat was forthcoming as we entered the liveried portals of La Reserve, escorted by two exotic young woman dressed in black looking as if they should be sashaying with Robert Palmer. Two young men replaced them, looking just as chic, but with more light and comprehension in their eyes. We were led into a somber, dark, cave like room, but quite elegantly designed in bronze with gold trimmings. A Marquis de Sade kind of place. The gentlemen serving staff handed us our menus, and my first surprise was revealed; the 58 Euro lunch menu is not served on the week-ends as promised by an email. At this point, there was no escape. I was entrenched within the depths of Le Gabriel and no horn was forthcoming, only frequent announcements at the ATM of my choice. The leather bound menu was more imposing then my Haftorah, but everything sounded wonderful and I ignored potential poverty for an afternoon of self indulgence.
My starter was an amazing softly baked whipped egg white with a not quite runny yoke, surrounded by truffles. The lightness of the egg was perfectly balanced by the earthiness of the black truffle. It was sublime with just the correct restraint placed on the use of truffle. The other starter was a scallop carpaccio with a ring of whole small scallops with a drizzled green sauce. A from the garden flavor, that was delicate, but with lots of flavor. One main was the imposingly named tooth fish, firm and white, but with a sweetness to it, served in a complex broth with a slight earthiness. The broth was amazing.
My Black Cod in curry was prepared with such harmony and balance, that it pointed out why some are chefs and some are cooks. The Japanese curry combined with Thai basil and avocado had just the correct amount of heat, never over powering the delicacy of the fish. It was a zen like tasting experience and at risk of sounding pretentious, I was reminded why I enjoy the utter harmony of a Japanese garden. I apologize before hand, but we both had chocolate soufflé for dessert. They were fabulous. Le Gabriel's wine list was eclectic enough, and I found a Loire Valley white for 80 Euros to compliment our meal. The final tally came to 300 Euros. Service was correct, but with youthful exuberance and pride in what they were serving. We communicated in both English and French, attributing to a perfect comfort level. Bravo!
While certainly more then my imagined 58 Euro lunch, my wife and I felt it was money well spent. We will just have to go without eating for the month of March to compensate for the outlay of cash. C'est la vie.