Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anniversary dinner at L'Atelier

August 17th equaled 4 years. Although JP likes to say it's been only 3 years since I was in Paris all of 2010. No, it's been 4 years. So I grilled some skirt steak*. Made some corn and bacon. And an heirloom tomato salad with basil, balsamic and Arbequina olive oil. We finally opened up our Clos du Val cabernet that we got when we were in Napa a few years ago.

For dessert I had picked up some Italian plums (prunes?) at the Rockefeller farmer's market during lunch and turned them into a crumble.

It was a good dinner. But our "going-out" dinner was Saturday at L'Atelier de Joel Robouchon

Verdict? It was fun but the food was MEH for the most part. JP ranked it dead-last out of the four anniversary dinner's we've had. I ranked it second-to last only because I don't remember how much I liked Perry Street (the other two are Daniel at #1 and Alex at the Wynn in Vegas at #2).

We didn't get the tasting menu (I'm deathly allergic to sturgeon and have an aversion to foie gras) so we went a la carte.  A couple small plates - sauteed amadai in yuzu broth with lotus root, sauteed squid with chorizio and violet artichokes in tomato water, asparagus macaroni gratin and seared scallop with ginger and chive crust (yes, singular scallop for $28) followed by our mains. I had the hanger steak with roasted shallots and shishito peppers which failed in comparison to the hanger steak I had at craftsteak two years ago. JP had seared sea bass with a lemongrass foam and stewed baby leeks where the overwhelming flavor was lemongrass and I was reminded about those spicy cashews I have in my pantry that I need to return to TJs because I don't find them palatable.

Granted, the presentation of everything was top notch. Not all dishes fell flat. I quite liked the squid with chorizo and the crispy crust on the amadai, as well at the shallots on top of my steak. My strawberry-rhubarb-gin cocktail was stupendous and my dessert was pretty good - cheesecake mousse with Tahitian vanilla and seasonal berries.

JP's sauteed peaches with peach sorbet and meringue came on dry ice which was pretty cool.

But there was something off about the service (didn't help that obnoxious girl that sat next to me started elbowing me sometime during our dessert course). Maybe it was because I had chosen counter seating but it didn't feel like it was worth it. There, maybe that's what I mean. The food is good but overall the price just isn't worth it. I proposed that we stick to Daniel from now on since nothing else has quite measured up. We can be one of those couples that goes back every year once a year on their anniversary.

*Note: Whole Foods Chelsea - please carry non-grass fed beef. I like it better. And its not $14/lb. I think I'll be going to Whole Foods Union Square for meat from now on.

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