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Review: North Pond Tasting Menu

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Review: North Pond Tasting Menu

Hank Baldpate | Nov 22, 2004 11:14 AM

Dined at North Pond for the first time and indulged in the autumn prix fixe menu. Before my rundown, though, here are the particulars. Valet parking was easy at Lakeview and Deming--price was $8 plus $2 tip. You then walk under a bridge and into the park where the restaurant sits, right on the pond.

It was a friday night and the place was probably 2/3 full; we were seated at a booth (far from the fireplace). The service in general is kind of a team effort thugh our main server was somewhat distant, and a little peculiar. After the bread basket and mini-sturgeon salad, the courses began:

First was a cold lobster and crab salad with apple radish and I believe a beet. Fantastic--the apple radish was superb.

Next was a smoked sturgeon pastry with leeks, fennel and a carrot sauce. This again was superb and in my mind the highlight of the meal. I'm a big fan of sturgeon (and butter).

Next was an espresso cup of cream based soup--it may have been onion but I don't remember now. Not indicated on the menu.

Next was a potato ravioli, with chanterelle mushrooms, pheasant and a kind of maple sauce. I do remember nuts and they threw sweetbreads in for good measure. The waiter touted this as the highlight of the meal, though I found it to be a little earthy for my taste.

Next was an apple sorbet course. Not on the menu. Excellent.

The main dish was two strips of rare lamb loin with
squash and a sort of whipped broccoli. Also included were wine-infused shallots. It was somewhat late at this point and the course was actually luke-warm. The shallots and squash were excellent, the lamb somewhat disappointing.

It should be noted that I was the only drinker at the table and had the waiter recommended a white and later a red with the lamb. Not surprisingly, he recommended the most expensive glasses. The white was an average Austrian Riesling, and the red was a really disappointing 2001 Burgundy. It tasted like tree bark.

The dessert was a caramel souffle with pumpkin ice cream. The spooned the ice cream onto the souffle tableside and I watched in amazement as it slowly sank into the warm souffle over the next minute or so. Unfortuately it looked betteer than it tasted--the souffle was bland, though the ice cream was great.

On the whole, 2 prix fixes at $74, a manhattan, two glasses of wine and parking & tax plus tip brought the tab for two to $250. On the whole, a decent experience but I'd not likely return.

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