Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Try harder please, an almost there restaurant

Here’s an example of trying, but not quite getting it right. Earlier this week we were invited to lunch at a highly reputed restaurant some miles away. The location is superb, a chateau set in the middle of its own vineyards and beautifully restored. The dining room was very nicely done.

We all went for the menu fixe. First mistake; the waiter made it obvious that he was impatient as one of our party made up her mind as to which plat to have. Then, the amuses arrive; three of them & very pretty. #1 is a beetroot puree over?? Couldn’t tell what it was & the flavor combination didn’t quite work. #2 was a three layer concoction that even the waiter couldn’t explain. Again the flavors were not quite right. #3 was delicious, a very light mousse (I guess foam if I’m being trendy.) of Fromage fraiche with ground almond & cilantro.

The entrée was a wonderfully prepared cold cucumber soup. It was served in beautiful narrow based bowls. OOH! Ah! Herein was part of the problem. Each serving had a long curled up strip of cucumber in the middle, sort of in a well, of the bowl. Ever try to cut cucumber with the edge of a spoon? Not easy & we all struggled or just left it. Pity as the dish was good.

In the midst of this the waiters started serving around the table rather than ladies first as they should have done.

The main was lightly smoked grilled magret over carrots & a whole meal wafer. Very nice indeed, but spoiled by an indescribable sauce that just did not go with the duck.

Cheeses were good.

Dessert was good.

So, good, potentially excellent, food that looked better than it tasted. Staff that wasn’t quite fully trained. A shame as the competition is fierce & we won’t go back again. ITT-S!

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