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Soigne report: overrated or off night? (long)

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Soigne report: overrated or off night? (long)

TC | Mar 4, 2004 04:03 PM

I finally made it to Soigne for dinner for the first time this past weds. and was underwhelmed. My wife and I went for an impromtu anniversary dinner and chose Soigne for several reasons but mostly for the weds tasting menu.

We both opted for the tasting menu with wine. The featured ingredient was peeky toe crab from the waters of maine.
First course was two beautiful ravioli stuffed with crab and foie gras. The sauce was cream based with just a bit too much garlic for my taste... it somewhat overwhelmed the delicate filling.

I was happy at this point and was looking forward to the next course. Crab spring rolls. They were perfectly good, not great but good. Okay next course.

Cold crab salad, potato chip, and radish napoleon with arugula salad. This didn't work for me at all. Nothing happening but the lasting flavor of the potato chip... and all the other sundry deep fryer flavors. At this point I'm starting to worry a little. I wasn't that impressed yet and I was still pretty darn hungry.

The wine and sake pairings were great. Our waiter was attentive and knowledgeable about the food and wine.

The fourth course was an incredibly rich crab cake with a brown butter and crab sauce with tarragon aioli. This was also a very good dish... really flavorful and a good play with contrasting flavors and textures.

The final cheese course was a great way to finish off the dinner.

I'll cut to the chase and say that for $80 per person I expect to be blown away. If not with every course, but at least with a majority. This is my main point; everything was good and definetly above average but not exceptional. I have read the glowing reviews on this site for a long time and now wonder was this an off night for the kitchen. The chef was in and the place was pretty slow. I left uninspired. I will return at some point and try offerings from the regular menu which reads well, but not any time soon. I am expecting some fallout from this post but stand by the fact that if this is one of the best restaurants in town then we are all truly
lacking. (I am a baltimoron)

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