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solo dining at Telepan (review)


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solo dining at Telepan (review)

steveo | Mar 24, 2006 01:34 PM

A long planned night to myself after having a new baby three months ago. Was thrilled to accept a 5 pm reservation in hopes of a quiet dining room where I could catch up on some reading.

On to the review.

Was greeted warmly by server. Although menus were plopped down and server immediately walked away. Returned with "Can I offer you a drink?" No enthusistic overview of the wine list or menu. No suggested pairings. Waiter seemed more like he belonged at Houston's or Cheesecake factory. For $100 a person you expect a bit more.

I chose the 4 course prix fixe. The amuse bouche were pretty good. Although server wasn't anywhere to be found. Busboy acted as server and struggled to recall the names of the items. An egg and cheese grougere rocked my world. But a tuna crostini and half cup of mushroom soup were just ok, as the judges on Idol would say. I should add that the bread basket was excellent.

Course #1 - The smoked trout over buckwheat blini. One of the best dishes I've ever eaten in a NY restaurant. Perfect amount of velevty sour cream, plus oil. The fish had a wet, sashimi like quality. A 10.

Course #2 - brought out less than 120 seconds after I finished my last bite of trout. Didn't bother me yet! had the Robiola Tortellini with meatballs and swiss chard. Apparently I misread the menu. I though it said parmesan foam. It actually said parmesan broth. So, my dish turned out to be a fancy version of italian wedding soup. Not that I minded, but I was expecting more of a traditional pasta dish.
The tortellini had bite and the cheese was perfect. But not as transporting as the trout.

Course #3 - The second my totellini was removed, a steak knife was placed for my third course. Also, my waiter has yet to present a single dish or check back to see how they are. I struggle to get his attention (empty restaurant), and ask him to slow things down. I feel like I'm choking on my food. he says that he has no control over the pace. But walks away and gets things slowed down - a bit. Ten minutes later my Sirloin with oxtail glaze arrives. Well prepared but not melt in your mouth. Accompanying potatoes felt homemade (in a bad way).

Course #4 - Had the steamed chocolate cake with caramel ice cream and sea salt crystals. Was expecting more of a steamy soufflee like cake. Again, good but not great.

Overall, service was polite but disinterested. trout was incredible. And the rest, just eh. Annoyed that I dropped $100.

With free time being so valuable these days, i should stick to my favorites - cafe boulud, babbo, l'impero.

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