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La Luncheonette


markk
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After spending some time with a lot of the publications and sites that list all (or most) of the restaurants in NYC (Zagat, Time Out NY, Menupages, etc.) to see what little French bistros we might be overlooking that were worth trying, I found a number of encouraging words about "La Luncheonette", at 10th Avenue and 18th St., which I know has been around a long time, and we decided to give them a try for a post-theater dinner.

The sauteed foie gras appetizer (and at $19.50 !!) was just about the sorriest thing I've ever been served in a restaurant:

gallery_11181_3830_27356.jpg

It was basically two almost-microscopic scraps of some soggy liver the thickness of a silver dollar that tasted more like overcooked sauteed calves liver than foie gras, and as you can see, it came floating in a bowl of grease (which they said was "the duck fat we cook it in so it doesn't stick") with a good amount of some mystery gravy.

Now, we eat a LOT of sauteed foie gras, and when we questioned this dish, we were told "that that's how it's served in France".

At that point the restaurant's cat came to play with my legs (I am allergic to cats, and not sure that they belong in a restaurant altogether) - so we got up and left, after making some quick monetary arrangement with them to get us the heck out of there as quickly as possible so we could get to some place that was still open for edible food for dinner.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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After spending some time with a lot of the publications and sites that list all (or most) of the restaurants in NYC (Zagat, Time Out NY, Menupages, etc.) to see what little French bistros we might be overlooking that were worth trying, I found a number of encouraging words about "La Luncheonette", at 10th Avenue and 18th St., which I know has been around a long time, and we decided to give them a try for a post-theater dinner.

The sauteed foie gras appetizer (and at $19.50 !!) was just about the sorriest thing I've ever been served in a restaurant:

gallery_11181_3830_27356.jpg

It was basically two almost-microscopic scraps of some soggy liver the thickness of a silver dollar that tasted more like overcooked sauteed calves liver than foie gras, and as you can see, it came floating in a bowl of grease (which they said was "the duck fat we cook it in so it doesn't stick") with a good amount of some mystery gravy.

Now, we eat a LOT of sauteed foie gras, and when we questioned this dish, we were told "that that's how it's served in France".

At that point the restaurant's cat came to play with my legs (I am allergic to cats, and not sure that they belong in a restaurant altogether) - so we got up and left, after making some quick monetary arrangement with them to get us the heck out of there as quickly as possible so we could get to some place that was still open for edible food for dinner.

Man, that is one sorry looking dish - glad you got out with your stomach intact.

Thanks for the warning.

And you point out something that I don't think a lot (or enough) people do - when trying an unknown place (no matter what it says in Zagat's, on menupages, or in Time Out), we always try to order our appetizers first - that way, when and if the apps suck, we can get out with minimal harm to both our stomachs and wallets.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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After spending some time with a lot of the publications and sites that list all (or most) of the restaurants in NYC (Zagat, Time Out NY, Menupages, etc.) to see what little French bistros we might be overlooking that were worth trying, I found a number of encouraging words about "La Luncheonette", at 10th Avenue and 18th St., which I know has been around a long time, and we decided to give them a try for a post-theater dinner.

The sauteed foie gras appetizer (and at $19.50 !!) was just about the sorriest thing I've ever been served in a restaurant:

gallery_11181_3830_27356.jpg

It was basically two almost-microscopic scraps of some soggy liver the thickness of a silver dollar that tasted more like overcooked sauteed calves liver than foie gras, and as you can see, it came floating in a bowl of grease (which they said was "the duck fat we cook it in so it doesn't stick") with a good amount of some mystery gravy.

Now, we eat a LOT of sauteed foie gras, and when we questioned this dish, we were told "that that's how it's served in France".

At that point the restaurant's cat came to play with my legs (I am allergic to cats, and not sure that they belong in a restaurant altogether) - so we got up and left, after making some quick monetary arrangement with them to get us the heck out of there as quickly as possible so we could get to some place that was still open for edible food for dinner.

Man, that is one sorry looking dish - glad you got out with your stomach intact.

Thanks for the warning.

And you point out something that I don't think a lot (or enough) people do - when trying an unknown place (no matter what it says in Zagat's, on menupages, or in Time Out), we always try to order our appetizers first - that way, when and if the apps suck, we can get out with minimal harm to both our stomachs and wallets.

Aaaaah.... we didn't order only our appetizers first (though we sometimes do exactly that). They were getting near closing and wanted the whole order.

We just called it quits before the main courses arrived!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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After spending some time with a lot of the publications and sites that list all (or most) of the restaurants in NYC (Zagat, Time Out NY, Menupages, etc.) to see what little French bistros we might be overlooking that were worth trying, I found a number of encouraging words about "La Luncheonette", at 10th Avenue and 18th St., which I know has been around a long time, and we decided to give them a try for a post-theater dinner.

The sauteed foie gras appetizer (and at $19.50 !!) was just about the sorriest thing I've ever been served in a restaurant:

gallery_11181_3830_27356.jpg

It was basically two almost-microscopic scraps of some soggy liver the thickness of a silver dollar that tasted more like overcooked sauteed calves liver than foie gras, and as you can see, it came floating in a bowl of grease (which they said was "the duck fat we cook it in so it doesn't stick") with a good amount of some mystery gravy.

Now, we eat a LOT of sauteed foie gras, and when we questioned this dish, we were told "that that's how it's served in France".

At that point the restaurant's cat came to play with my legs (I am allergic to cats, and not sure that they belong in a restaurant altogether) - so we got up and left, after making some quick monetary arrangement with them to get us the heck out of there as quickly as possible so we could get to some place that was still open for edible food for dinner.

Incidentally, yes, the cat thing is illegal.

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Ah yes, La Luncheonette! I had cervelles au buerre noire there on my infamous "Offal Truth" guts-eating tour of NYC with Herbacidal and jogoode.

gallery_8505_0_42338.jpg

It was... er, brainy. Not something I'd go back to have again.

--

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