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Tocqueville


yvonne johnson
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Two Saturdays ago returned to Tocqueville (15 East 15th Street, 212/647-1515) after around a year or more. On our first visit, the service was very tardy, so much so it nearly ruined our meal, but when the dishes eventually arrived our group was pleased with the food, and overall, we enjoyed the tranquil, small room. On this occasion, the service was pretty able (leaving aside the “Would you like Peligrino or Evian?” question), but my dishes were uninspiring. For balance, I add that my husband and our friend were happy.

Amuse bouche was salmon tartare, finly chopped. Nice enough. For an appetizer I went for Hamachi (yellow tail)—sashimi, I guess. This was quite a big portion. The small pieces of fish that my knife went through with hardly any pressure were very good, however, most of the dish comprised finely chopped fish (resembling the texture of the amuse), and after a while, my thought was, how am I going to get through all this mush? I did taste my husband’s quail which had a big flavor of truffles.

I chose venison next. Small, square slices of meat, medium rare as I like it, sat on top of a mound of onions, carrots and greens. Around the plate were a scattering of chestnuts and some reduction. Is it just me? Why not just place the meat directly on the plate? When meat is perched on a hill of stuff, it means the eater has to remove it from the center to the side, then cut it. If one cut it where it was, who knows where the things on the bottom might scatter and splash.  The venison had a hint of gameyness to it, but didn’t have that extra umph. The food could’ve been a tad warmer. Roasted rack of lamb and chicken dishes reported to be very good.

Two of the desserts were poor. I ordered cardamom panna cotta which was good and creamy, but the dish was marred by way too many toppings: cirtrus fruits, organge peel, blackcurrant sorbet (that tasted very unpleasant). My husband described his apple tart as having “hard” pastry. Ice creams reportedly very good.

We were seated in the bar section, which was fine and reasonably quiet.

Prices: Appetizers roughly $12-$22, mains, $24-$34. So quite pricey, and not worth the money in my opinion.

Bumped into Wilfrid and his other half there, so I await his report to see if we concur.

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What with an unwelcome trip to Surrey, of all places, and then the server problem, I have had to wrack my brains to remember what we ate at Tocqueville.  We had to hang around in the bar a while before being seated in the dining room, resisting the temptation to wave cheerily at Yvonne every five minutes.  We eventually got into the dining room and had a good, but certainly pricy, meal.  Tocqueville may be quite small, but it's ambitious, and the cost reflects that.  Yvonne gave the prices above.

I liked the salmon tartare (I think it was smoked).  My Beloved got the quail, a generous appetizer (two birds as I recall).  I had the special - seared baby abalone - which turned out to be disappointing; it could have just been slightly chewy squid - although the presentation in a big shell was pretty.

The other half had the venison.  She insists on well done, so I can't comment much on the quality (it took the kitchen two attempts to cook it thoroughly enough).  But I had "pan roast" veal loin, which had the softeness and texture of braised meat.  It came with good mashed potatoes.

I thought our dessert course was exceptional.  The Beloved wanted any kind of icre cream, as long as it was chocolate.  She also veeted off the menu and demanded chocolate sauce.  They brought her two sauces with her ice cream, one rich and dark (probably meant for the souffle), and another lighter, creamier one.  Very thoughtful.  I had a goat's cheese cheesecake, garnished with some bitter orange.  The texture of the cheese made the cake sort of grainy and chewable; excellent.

Very good burgundy - Corton 'Les Renardes' (1996).  Some extra aperitifs had crept onto our check when it was presented, which is annoying because it makes one a little suspicious - probably for no reason.  But overall a serious restaurant, and certainly punching its weight alongside Veritas and Fleur de Sel in the Flatiron.  I agree that it's no bargain, but I thought the cooking was good enough for the prices not to be considered absurd.

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One point in Toqueville's favor: they use Cato Corner's raw cow's milk cheese, from CT. I know, I know, I'm a tired old record (though no Gary Glitter, mind you) with my love for places that use local purveyors.

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  • 3 months later...

An eG dining companion and I enjoyed a $20.02 prix-fixe lunch at Toqueville yesterday.

The décor stresses two colors: yellowish (but not overbearing) walls with blue-colored banquettes. The room is small and cozy. We were seated at a round table that would usually serve more than two, but apparently during the slow season is given away to a lesser number of diners.

My overall impression of the cuisine and service was very favorable, tinged sadly by seeing only several tables taken during lunchtime.

We had:

House Cured Salmon - mimosa and caper vinaigrette. Several tender, buttery pieces of cured salmon of vibrantly orange-reddish color, topped with a creamy vinaigrette that was accented with coarsely chopped, tiny cubes of pickles.

Asparagus and Green Garlic Vichyssoise. Since I shared the meal, the asparagus soup followed the cured salmon in my case, and its taste blended with the previous savory appetizer. My lunch companion may contribute a better assessment. However, it was properly chilled, of the right density, and topped with a refreshing mâche garnish.

Thyme Roasted Wild Striped Bass - braised fennel, aromatic broth. The striped bass was very good. Nicely crusted, the meat was almost sweet; though not especially tender, it exuded moisture in combination with a thin vegetable broth with an acute aroma of fennel. The fennel was done just right and complemented the fish well.

Guinea Hen Ravioli - arugula and tomato salad, poultry jus. The ravioli was al dente, and acceptable but not memorable, though the broth, based on the poultry jus, was interesting and nicely echoed the ravioli stuffing.

Pineapple, Star Anis, White Chocolate Ganache, Black Pepper Nougatine. A pineapple sorbet was topped with white chocolate ganache and tiny pieces of fresh blueberries, pineapple, and strawberries. The combination of light (sorbet), heavy (ganache) and refreshing fruit was elegant and, for my taste, just perfect. We didn’t try sampling the nougatine with the other flavors of this dessert until the end, but the taste of sweetness with black pepper was somewhat interesting, I’d say.

Selection of Today's Sorbets. All of the sorbets were excellent. The right combination of sharpness and sweetness couldn’t have been better comprised. The three scoops consisted of mango, lychee (which also had a little lemony overtone that prevented us from immediately recognizing it) and white peach (which we failed to identify at first and requested our captain’s assistance). Since our impression was that this last sorbet had rather a strawberry hint, we received an extra scoop of a strawberry sorbet for comparison. It was a personal touch that truly epitomized the wonderful impression of our lunch.

In my estimation, the food quality was similar to that at a dinner at Tocqueville about a year ago, though the $20.02 menu is limited and the portions smaller.

A tasting of wines paired with each course is available for a $15 supplement.

Tocqueville

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lxt, remember that garnish on top of the ravioli we had, that had those deep purple stems and bright green leaves, almost clover-like? Did you figure out what it was?

Also, an addendum: they have a nice wines by the glass list - I had a delightful rose. And they even have an aged, dry oloroso by the glass - I didn't have it, but its presence made me happy. :smile:

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  • 4 months later...

I went on Sat. with Mrs 00 and two other couples. We ordered a tasting menu (7 courses, $95). We sat in the bar (front) room. Thankfully the restaurant is completely smoke free. There was some grumbling by the women because we were near the door, but that turned out ok because the restaurant was quite warm. The food was good plus (thank you Cabralas). We started with a bottle of Gruet sparkling wine with a plate of three fish preparations, salmon tartare with quail egg, a spoon of black carviar, and a raw yellowtail preparation. Next we had green and white asparagus with a truffled vinagarette and a bottle of Villadon Saugnon Blanc,nice dish and wine. The highlite for me was the next course, a slow roasted cod with truffled potatoes that half the table received. The other half got sea bass with fava beans, I thought the beans could have been cooked longer. After that we got abalone on toast with sauted onions, my least favorite dish. Next was a lobster with porcini in a herbed buere blanc also a very nice dish. The 6th course was a risotto with truffles, a little to rich with butter. We drank a Macon Fuisse with that dish. We then a had a meat course that was a veal roast with cranberry beans in a veal reduction. My only problem with this was that it was room temperture. We drank a '89 Pichon La lande that we brought with us ($30 corkage). The cheese course was a poached pear (quite soft) with goat cheese and truffle oil, also very good. Then came the desserts. They gave us seven different dishes of which my 2 favorites were warm flourless chocolate cake and pineapple parfait, They comped us a glass of docetta.

The room was very nice, but the veiw out the window was of a blamk wall across the street. The service was excellent except when we wanted to pay, that took about 20 minutes. The plates were too big for the size of the of the table, always a issue for me. The cost was $310 per couple. I don't know if I would go back because the food was little too rich and the prices on the wine list were rediculously high.

Edited by Double 0 (log)

I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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  • 1 year later...

Tocqueville (15 E 15th St, 1/2 block west of Union Square) offers a quiet, civilized dining experience. The design, muted and refined, has a calming influence, and unlike so many modern restaurants, doesn't call attention to itself. The dining room is small and the tables reasonably close together—yet, you hear your companion's voice without shouting, and you don't hear anybody else's conversation. Even if you knew no more, all of these attributes would recommend Tocqueville to the discerning diner looking for an evening's escape without busting the budget.

I chose Tocqueville mainly to please my mother, who's visiting from out of town. She ordered six oysters on the half-shell, followed by the seared Maine diver scallops with Hudson Valley foie gras. She pronounced both superb—and she is not easily impressed.

My choices, alas, didn't turn out quite so well. I started with a salad listed on the menu as: "Cato Farm Connecticut Aged Dutch Farm House Cheddar" with "shaved fennel, frisee, roasted pears, hazelnut balsamic vinaigrette." That's quite a mouthful, and it looked wonderful, but was far too salty to my taste. I noticed that a diner at the table next to me left hers unfinished, so perhaps she had the same reaction.

For the entrée, I ordered the Niman Ranch Pork Chop, which is served with "manila clams, fingerling potatoes and bitter greens with chorizo white wine and garlic." (All quotes from the restaurant's website.) The clams are an odd pairing with the pork chop. Once again, this dish was too salty, including the chop (which was thick and tender).

Given my mom's endorsement of Tocqueville's cuisine, perhaps I just made the wrong choices. The restaurant was full on a Sunday evening, and I suspect many of the patrons were regulars. Service was efficient and friendly, although I grew mildly irritated at an over-eager server who punctuated each dish ordered with "excellent! ... wonderful! ... great!" On the other hand, over-eager is better than under-attentive.

Appetizers are $12-28, mains are $27-36. Tasting menus are available for $75 (five courses) or $95 (seven courses). The wine list is pricey, with scarcely a bottle below $50. We lucked into a wonderful bordeaux at $48, which is about the cheapest you can do, but the pickings were slim at that price range. I don't think it would kill Tocqueville to offer a reasonable wine selection in the $35-45 range.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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As I am a close friend of the owners of Tocqueville I will make sure that they read your review. Since it was Sunday evening I do not believe they were there which, though not excusable, could have been the reason for the salty pork dish.

We have always had wonderful experiences at this restaurant and am never worried about recommending it to my friends. Yes, the wine list leans towards the expensive side but I get around that by paying a $30.00 corkage charge and bring my own. The ever chqnging menu makes this an exciting restaurant for us to go to, plus the service is always most professional.

Hank

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It certainly is excusable that no one should have to work 7 days a week. So I don't understand your question. What I thought was inexcusable was that whom ever the chef was that night should have been more careful with the amount of salt he/she used if that was the case. With that said, do we know whether the poster is more sensitive to salt than other people. I for one have never experienced an over salty dish at this rest. That is probably a discussion we could toss around for ever because I have many times witnessed people shaking oodles of salt on a dish that I thought was perfectly salted/ seasoned. Worse than that is the person who adds salt/pepper before even trying the dish.

Hank

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With that said, do we know whether the poster is more sensitive to salt than other people.

I am not aware of being overly sensitive to salt. I don't generally notice the salt, so it seemed unusual in this case. That said, I always believe that you need more than one data point to establish whether a comment is a genuine weakness, or just an isolated event.

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  • 1 year later...

Tocqueville is about to reopen in larger quarters just down the block from its current location. It is in the process of transformation from a lovely neighborhood restaurant to a more ambitious enterprise. I always enjoyed the economy of design of the old location, which has been preserved and gently transported to the new dining room. The high-ceilinged room continues to convey a comparable play of delicate esthetic contrasts of gray/blue and gently yellow colors. The large wall-mirrors, mimicking windows, establish weightlessness and should serve as perfect reflectors of incoming light dispersed by the small central window at lunchtime. There is no explicit confrontation between the simplified classical style and modern movement (which sometimes turns decor cold, rhetorical and intellectual – Mix comes to mind), and at the same time, warm, modest colors prevent the room’s newly acquired grandeur from becoming overbearing, making it structurally whole from top to bottom, to the last detail within the same elegant theme.

I wonder to what extent the new menu at Tocqueville (and there is a new menu) will continue the trend I’ve recently seen and enjoyed toward incorporating contemporary French/Spanish influences. The cuisine, under the collaboration of Marco Moreira and George Mendes (who joined about three[?] years ago as Chef de Cuisine after apprenticing with Passard, Berasategui, Bouley and Gutenbrunner), is taking a more unified and creative path not only in regard to new dishes, but old ones as well: there is more precision, meticulous accuracy, either new groupings of ingredients or regrouping of the old ones around the main theme (as with the sashimi tasting plate, an old favorite that is only gotten better). Tocqueville’s current cuisine is brighter, more sensuously charming, more decorative, and its effects are more complex despite minimalistic tendencies that challenge tradition.

I think that there are two important principles in a successful dish: rhythm and contrast. Each ingredient may form rhythms with like elements, and each of these rhythms may enter into relationships with rhythms formed by other elements to create contrasts. In short, the dish is lacking when overemphasis of one or more of ingredients or their unskilled use fails to effect the unity indispensable in a successful dish. Either the chef has nothing to say or he lacks the command of means to convey an idea.

George actually creates contrasts through rhythms, bringing flavor to an asparagus velouté, for instance, too mild to stand on its own, through the slightly acidic asparagus dice hiding on the bottom of the cup: the acidic intensity is washed off the asparagus tips, adding to the velouté the necessary balance with the first swirl of a spoon. That is, it is through the play of the same ingredient that the contrast is achieved.

There are whimsical sparks throughout the menu, sometimes delayed (as in the crème-fraiche ice cream in the Heirloom tomato appetizer, which upon melting and melding with the tomato juice, adds smooth, balanced leverage), sometimes direct (as in using the acidity and perfume of baked apples in place of vinegar). There is Passard’s slow-cooking combined with Basque tradition in the same dish, as in the slow-cooked hake with a parsley/garlic sauce (a play on the Basque “merluza en salsa verde”).

While the dishes described above, which I’ve enjoyed recently at Tocqueville, weren’t served at the recent opening reception – to which I was delighted to be invited as a long-term customer -- there was the same character and variety present in many little amuses at the party.

Beet and goat cheese

The beet reminded me of the dehydrated beet ribbon amuse at El Bulli. Interestingly, when dehydrated, the beet loses its native flavor characteristics, with delicate sweetness accentuated. Adria uses vinegar powder(?) to oppose the sweet notes; Tocqueville added goat cheese to contrast not only flavors (sweet vs. sour), but textures as well (crispy vs. smooth). It was indeed one of the best small morsels.

Beet.gif

El Bulli beet ribbon

Beet-ribbon-El-Bulli.jpg

Smoked cod brandade on squid ink chip

Very Basque, clever and tasty. The chip was a witty visual imitation of fish skin.

Cod.gif

Foie gras and bay scallop with mostarda mango

The central mango piece tasted better when paired with either the scallop or foie gras separately, but not when all elements were eaten together. This dish echoed the house signature foie gras and scallop.

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Rabbit tonatto

A nice and a worthy pun.

Rabbit.gif

Potato blini, smoked salmon, roe, lemon zest

I assume that this dish was a variation on Russian “aladushki” (a more precise name for this type of “blini”). Aladushki (or as they are also called, “aladyi”) are generally served warm (Tocqueville’s version was chilled) with a blob of crème fraiche (or sour cream) and caviar on top. The chilled sour cream serves not only as a complement to the potato, but also as a temperature insulator for the caviar, because caviar tends to lose its firm texture shortly after being exposed to heat. This was a nice amuse, but I wonder whether it wouldn’t have been better had the blini been warm.

Salmon.gif

Venison, red cabbage topped with chestnut tuile

A classic combination of ingredients with a contemporary spark of paper-thin, crispy and delicate chestnut tuile. This was a great amuse, and the venison was indeed cooked properly.

Venison.gif

Celeriac and potato beignets with truffle mayo

What could’ve easily been heavy turned out to be absolutely delightful. The beignets were exceptionally light, and the truffle mayo wasn’t weighty enough to take this lightness away.

Potato.gif

Tuna wrapped in prosciutto.

I don’t have a picture of this dish, which I found very interesting not only because of its excellence, but also because the combination of raw fish and meat and their interplay has interested me ever since I tried beef carpaccio with Aquitaine caviar at Clos des Sens in Annecy; upon being mixed with the caviar, the meat developed a flavor similar to that of fatty tuna. The concept at Tocqueville was analogous and worked as well: that is, the prosciutto didn’t overpower the raw tuna, but rather created an unexpected unity of flavor.

Chicken bouillon with truffles, scallions and a quail egg

You just can’t go wrong with that!

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Desserts.

Coconut panna cotta with mango

I seemed to have enjoyed desserts less this time.

PannaCotta.gif

Chocolate mini cupcakes

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Mango mousse in caramel/sesame seeds tuile

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The truffle in the kitchen

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The kitchen

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There is an undeniable interest in the New York restaurant scene in the modernist culinary movement – so much so, in fact, that even Wylie Dufresne’s foie gras with anchovies doesn’t turn diners off J. I think Tocqueville is on the right track, probing in this direction through moderate and gentle contemporary touches. I wish Jo-Ann, Marco, George and David (Tocqueville’s wonderful Maitre d’) all the best, and I’m looking forward to returning as soon as the restaurant is open again.

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Wow. I must confess myself partly excited and party disappointed by the news. Tocqueville was a great experience the first time I went a few years ago and I was never able to get back. I am interested to try the new food, but feel bad that I won't be able to recapture the original experience.

Does anyone happen to know the re-opening date?

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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My understanding is that the old Tocqueville has stopped serving lunch, but continues serving dinner for now and that the new Tocqueville is not yet open. To be absolutely certain about the scheduling and transition, give them a call.

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Delightful post-blizzard dinner at Tocqueville Sunday night.

It's easy to see why this place inspires such loyalty and affection among its fans. It's one of those places that seems to run on the premise that people return to restaurants where they're treated as if they're friends of the house. We -- first-time guests -- were treated with the friendly solicitousness you usually expect as a regular. Nothing cloying or obtrusive, mind you. Everybody was just . . . nice.

The food, in a way, furthers that philosophy. It's VERY well-prepared, and very well thought-out, but not particularly innovative, or challenging, or even (to be honest) outstanding in any way. But it never falls below very good. You can't quite call it comfort food; it's too fancy for that. It's more like, very comfortable fine-dining type food.

I started with an "uni carbonara" (with angel hair pasta) that, I regret to say, was not quite as spectacular as it sounds like it should be. (Uni is absolutely one of my favorite foods.) I guess I was hoping for an overwhelming uni flavor, and didn't get it. But there wasn't anything else of great interest to make up for it. Don't get me wrong: not a bad dish, just a slightly disappointing one. (Certainly nowhere near as good as Honmura An's celestial uni on soba noodles.)

My entree was loin of venison, with the usual juniper and berries. This was extremely well-cooked (tender without being mushy). Not a flag-waving barnstormer of a dish, but something very good and very satisfying to eat as you look at the snow out the window.

I may be one of the last people here to eat in Tocqueville's current dining room, from which they are moving to bigger quarters nearby in a matter of days. I have to say I'm not worried at all. The kitchen gives every sign of being able to handle more volume. And, frankly, to me, the current dining room lacks charm (as distinct from the entry-room bar, which has charm to spare). Maybe they can come up with something a bit less impersonal (to match the vibe of the restaurant) in their new premises.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Last night a group of six of us went to Tocqueville to celebrate my friend Hall's birthday, and had a great time of it. The only other time I'd been to Tocqueville was also with Hall, for lunch about four years ago. They're all moved in to their new space on 15th Street, and it's lovely, despite the fact that it sort of feels tucked in behind the neighboring Au Bon Pain.

We arrived promptly for our 7:15 reservation (we'd kicked off the evening with cocktails and snacks at Hall's apartment a few blocks away) and were ushered past what looked like a lovely, posh bar area and up a twisting staircase to a small room overlooking the main dining room. I'm normally the type of person who likes to be in the thick of things at restaurants, but with a group like ours, it was nice not to feel like we were invading on anyone else's space. The room had three tables, all occupied - there was a group who were clearly business associates, and a canoodling couple at a small table in the corner.

The service was great - pleasant and attentive, though not overbearing, and very accomodating. We started off with a bottle of the house Champagne (a 2001 Scheurebe) and got down to the business of perusing the menu.

It's a good menu - not too many choices, with entrees heavy on the seafood and with an entry each for lamb, chicken, pork and beef. For my appetizer, I went with the escargots, langoustine and sweetbreads. The plating for this was great - the langoustine came wrapped in the thinnest slice of bacon (at least, I think it was bacon) I've ever seen, and was succulent and buttery. The escargots came on a tiny piece of toast spread with garlic confit, and the sweetbreads were served crispy - I could taste some black pepper in the crust - and on top of a generous pile of chanterelles.

Other folks at the table tried the chicken egg (rave reviews), the sea urchin carbonara (more raves, from Natasha, who started South Beach today in preparation for an upcoming vacation, and was scarfing down all the carbs she could get), and the special white truffle risotto (for the birthday boy), which came with a chicken jus. It was really good...the chicken jus, while rich unto itself, really cut through the perfume of the truffles in a nice way. Normally, I can do about two bites of a truffle risotto, but I think I could have eaten that whole thing, if Hall had let me. :wink:

With dinner with had a white wine (a Pouilly Fume, I believe - Miles did the ordering) and a red (no idea what this was - I'll try to get details!), since we had a few different entrees going on. Two people had the salmon (a poached filet and some belly, served with marrow), one had the beef (24-hour pot roast and 60-second sirloin), one had the Chatham cod (more on that later), one had the black bass, and I had the suckling pig.

The salmon went over well, though I didn't try it...I'm kind of sick of salmon these days, and couldn't be bothered. The beef looked marvelous, though I only tried the sides...one side was a smoky potato puree, and it was delicious. It also came with "aromatic root vegetables," one of which seemed to be a vanilla-scented baby turnip. Really interesting, especially with the bitter chocolate sauce on the plate.

My pig was outstanding - my waiter said the meat came from five different parts of the pig, and I definitely was able to identify the belly and the shoulder. It was wonderful - meltingly tender with crispy skin (thick on the shoulder, thinner on the belly), and served with fried mandioc. I would have this again and again. And again.

The cod was...dull. Chewy. Blah. So, we sent it back (and the waiter was very gracious and kind about it) and had it replaced with the scallops - which were out of this world. Definitely the best dish we tried. They were seared and served topped with foie gras. Underneath, a small salad with artichokes and a cider vinaigrette. Wow. The scallops themselves were sweet, tender, and not at all chewy or tough. The foie gras melted in your mouth (and wasn't too bad with the crispy madioc, either), and the vinaigrette cut through the fat and meatiness beautifully.

Dessert was good, though not so wonderful as the rest of the meal. I had the chocolate souffle, which was really more like the standard molten chocolate cake - but still delicious. They served it with a neat sabayon made with stout, which I really liked. A couple people did the assorted house-made ice creams, which were very good, and the apple confit and creme brulee were also good. The coffee was really good - a nice way to end the evening and settle my very full stomach.

All in all, a great experience. I'd love to go back and eat in the main dining room!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Megan! therese and I were there for lunch the day you were there for dinner!

Beautiful day for a walk through Union Square. And we walked past the entrance twice! We got all discombobulated because of the Au Bon Pain awnings all over the place.

We sat in the main dining room and ordered the prix fixe with wine pairings, preceded (since we were Ladies Who Lunched that day) with a cocktail and lots of chitchat. therese was pleased that her sidecar came with a properly sugared rim.

We started with shots of parsnip soup with black truffle foam on top, served nice and hot in a shot glass. The first course of beet things, including mousseline (in a nice quenelle shape), greens, and stuff I can't remember ... but we liked it very much. Second course was pan-roasted Chatham cod with a fluffy side of au gratin potato and some plate spittle. Okay, not spittle, but it was the foamy stuff, artfully arranged, and tasted very nice. I'm tired of Chatham cod, and never was a foam fan, but that's not the restaurant's fault. Dessert of mango creme brulee was loaded with vanilla.

We did get a kick out of the service: young men, very cute, who needed a little direction to take good care of us. One of them asked if we wanted to do tequila shooters, and immediately chastised himself for being so inappropriate. He was cute as a speckled pup!

Lovely room, lovely food. Next time, though, I think I'll order off the menu.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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I had a tasting menu from Tocqueville last Monday, and that ranks as one of the most incredible meals I had ever. Having eaten at the old space a few times several years ago, I memories of dishes that were good but not great. Although, I was invited to "friends and Family" in the new space, I felt it unfair to judge a restaurant at that point

To say that I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of food delivered to my table, would be an understatement. The Beet Cannellini was a truly beautiful dish. I loved it the first time I tasted it, and I love it more still. There was also a rich oyster soup that seduces the palate and a quartet of baby foie gras on toast that induces state of euphoria. A lovely chatham cod dish with all the earthy beauty one could ask for, and a sweet halibut that worked harmoniously with its flavorful sauce.

Paired with excellent service, and an easy going atomosphere, it ios what a dining experience ought to be.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Megan!  therese and I were there for lunch the day you were there for dinner! 

Beautiful day for a walk through Union Square.  And we walked past the entrance twice!  We got all discombobulated because of the Au Bon Pain awnings all over the place...

...We did get a kick out of the service: young men, very cute, who needed a little direction to take good care of us.  One of them asked if we wanted to do tequila shooters, and immediately chastised himself for being so inappropriate.  He was cute as a speckled pup!

Lovely room, lovely food. Next time, though, I think I'll order off the menu.

Synchronicity!!! How funny!

The Au Bon Pain awnings ARE very distracting. Especially after a cocktail or two...

You know, our waiter offered us tequila, too, in an obviously joking kind of way. We replied that what we really wanted were Alabama Slammers. :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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You know, our waiter offered us tequila, too, in an obviously joking kind of way.  We replied that what we really wanted were Alabama Slammers. :wink:

Slender guy with curly brown hair and soulful eyes? Or maybe all the waiters at Tocqueville have taken to suggesting to their female customers that they might prefer tequila shots to the usual after lunch coffee.

I was actually stunned (briefly, to be sure) into a state of speechlessness.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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You know, our waiter offered us tequila, too, in an obviously joking kind of way.  We replied that what we really wanted were Alabama Slammers. :wink:

What are those? did you get some? And, do you lick 'em, stick 'em, and suck 'em? :laugh:

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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What are those? did you get some?  And, do you lick 'em, stick 'em, and suck 'em?  :laugh:

If I said that, I would be banned from the board for life.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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