Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

Food - recipes, reviews, and discussion
Post Reply
Message
Author
Dan Kravitz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1705
Joined: May 10th, 2010, 3:47 pm
Location: Harpswell, Maine

Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#1 Post by Dan Kravitz » July 19th, 2019, 5:50 pm

Don’t want to give the name or even the city of this new place; they may fix it, they may do business with me (if they survive), but I have to vent.

This is a restaurant in the US of A. It calls itself a Brasserie. Not their fault that it’s in a tackily gentrified neighborhood. Everything else IS their fault.

This pristine reproduction of a Brasserie is Hollyveneer personified. The beautiful stained glass window above the bar saying ‘tabac’ is a nice touch for a place in which you could never possibly sell, much less consume, tobacco. I don’t believe it is legal in France for a Brasserie to also be a tobacco shop (not 100% sure on this). I’ve been in well over a hundred French Brasseries; I’m sure that they’d all be thrilled to include something this nice, not that it would fit either their legal status, their ambience or their budget. There is something unholy about a “Brasserie” with zero sign of age, decay, people or life.

The five 30-something gay Asians accompanied by a 60-something white guy at the table next to us in the otherwise empty restaurant came straight out of Comedy Central Casting, complete with the obligatory bottle of Champagne, and the subcontinental Indian ordering his steak well done. Please pardon the vicious racism, or don't.

The menu is worse. Until you read the fine print, it looks fine. I personally am happy to see Tourchon de Foie Gras (even if it’s actually ‘Torchon’), but does it really need spiced rhubarb compost? The underlying Pain Levain was fine and once I scraped off the compost the dish was almost OK, except that I couldn’t get off all of the compost. There are some things… lobster, foie gras, espresso, that I really prefer unpolluted. Whatever you can think of to add to them, please, please don’t. All of the food in this dump is interesting. That is a face-slap insult. I don’t want interesting foie gras.

I also don’t want interesting duck confit, and that was the worst crime. The description from the menu:


Duck Confit
sherry gastrique, wind rice, roquefort, golden raisins & rainbow chard

I assume they meant wild rice, although 95% of it was tame, with a few grains of the real stuff sparsely sprinkled through. Pardon my French, but who the f*ck would put that other stuff in with duck confit? Thank Flard the very mediocre, nowhere near crisp enough duck was on top, so I could avoid the accompaniments. I tasted the Sherry gastrique, aka sugar syrup. The Rainbow Chard tasted like a leafy green, a huge improvement on the other stuff. I love Roquefort, but it was a particularly ghastly intruder in this otherwise very poorly conceived dish. Will somebody please shoot the executive chef? Duck Confit should have crackly crisp skin, fork-tender moist meat and a mess of home fries on the side. I am open to other presentations, but emphatically not this one.
My guest had the day’s special, which was tagliatelle with duck confit, shitake [sic], morels, Madeira & creme fraiche. This offensively bland, almost totally unseasoned dish was by far the best of the evening.

The wine list compounds the felonies. Whichever chestnut you want, it is represented by the lowest common denominator.

2018 Chateau Gaude Garance. The most expensive of the three Provence Roses available by the glass. It is less dilute than many, but still thin. Otherwise dry and correct, with an attractive leafy hint if you don’t mind having to hunt for it. Rated 85.5.
2017 Kunde Chardonnay tastes like Chardonnay. Zero discernible character beyond the varietal. Rated 82.
2012 Franco Españolas Bourdan Rioja Reserva tasted young (a flaw) and compact (another flaw). But it had some fruit and balance. Well below average for the category, but I’ve had worse. Rated 86.5.

This reasonably priced restaurant is a total ripoff. Sorry, no more information is available.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

User avatar
Poppy Davis
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4584
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:51 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#2 Post by Poppy Davis » July 19th, 2019, 6:13 pm

Sounds like they gaslighted you. [wink.gif]
Poppy D@vis Frucht m@n, formerly ITB

User avatar
Corey N.
Posts: 26572
Joined: November 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Certainly NOT Orlando

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#3 Post by Corey N. » July 19th, 2019, 6:14 pm

Sounds like an awful experience. It also sounds like Gaslight Brasserie in Boston.
WOTY: 2013 d’Yquem

Nøv¡¢k

User avatar
CJ Beazley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 22125
Joined: December 3rd, 2011, 6:33 am
Location: Ovilla\Midlothian Texas

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#4 Post by CJ Beazley » July 19th, 2019, 6:31 pm

Poppy Davis wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 6:13 pm
Sounds like they gaslighted you. [wink.gif]
Ohhhhh you beat me to it.
It's C(raig)

User avatar
Victor Hong
Posts: 14191
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 1:34 pm

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#5 Post by Victor Hong » July 21st, 2019, 8:06 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 5:50 pm
Don’t want to give the name or even the city of this new place; they may fix it, they may do business with me (if they survive), but I have to vent.

This is a restaurant in the US of A. It calls itself a Brasserie. Not their fault that it’s in a tackily gentrified neighborhood. Everything else IS their fault.

This pristine reproduction of a Brasserie is Hollyveneer personified. The beautiful stained glass window above the bar saying ‘tabac’ is a nice touch for a place in which you could never possibly sell, much less consume, tobacco. I don’t believe it is legal in France for a Brasserie to also be a tobacco shop (not 100% sure on this). I’ve been in well over a hundred French Brasseries; I’m sure that they’d all be thrilled to include something this nice, not that it would fit either their legal status, their ambience or their budget. There is something unholy about a “Brasserie” with zero sign of age, decay, people or life.

The five 30-something gay Asians accompanied by a 60-something white guy at the table next to us in the otherwise empty restaurant came straight out of Comedy Central Casting, complete with the obligatory bottle of Champagne, and the subcontinental Indian ordering his steak well done. Please pardon the vicious racism, or don't.

The menu is worse. Until you read the fine print, it looks fine. I personally am happy to see Tourchon de Foie Gras (even if it’s actually ‘Torchon’), but does it really need spiced rhubarb compost? The underlying Pain Levain was fine and once I scraped off the compost the dish was almost OK, except that I couldn’t get off all of the compost. There are some things… lobster, foie gras, espresso, that I really prefer unpolluted. Whatever you can think of to add to them, please, please don’t. All of the food in this dump is interesting. That is a face-slap insult. I don’t want interesting foie gras.

I also don’t want interesting duck confit, and that was the worst crime. The description from the menu:


Duck Confit
sherry gastrique, wind rice, roquefort, golden raisins & rainbow chard

I assume they meant wild rice, although 95% of it was tame, with a few grains of the real stuff sparsely sprinkled through. Pardon my French, but who the f*ck would put that other stuff in with duck confit? Thank Flard the very mediocre, nowhere near crisp enough duck was on top, so I could avoid the accompaniments. I tasted the Sherry gastrique, aka sugar syrup. The Rainbow Chard tasted like a leafy green, a huge improvement on the other stuff. I love Roquefort, but it was a particularly ghastly intruder in this otherwise very poorly conceived dish. Will somebody please shoot the executive chef? Duck Confit should have crackly crisp skin, fork-tender moist meat and a mess of home fries on the side. I am open to other presentations, but emphatically not this one.
My guest had the day’s special, which was tagliatelle with duck confit, shitake [sic], morels, Madeira & creme fraiche. This offensively bland, almost totally unseasoned dish was by far the best of the evening.

The wine list compounds the felonies. Whichever chestnut you want, it is represented by the lowest common denominator.

2018 Chateau Gaude Garance. The most expensive of the three Provence Roses available by the glass. It is less dilute than many, but still thin. Otherwise dry and correct, with an attractive leafy hint if you don’t mind having to hunt for it. Rated 85.5.
2017 Kunde Chardonnay tastes like Chardonnay. Zero discernible character beyond the varietal. Rated 82.
2012 Franco Españolas Bourdan Rioja Reserva tasted young (a flaw) and compact (another flaw). But it had some fruit and balance. Well below average for the category, but I’ve had worse. Rated 86.5.

This reasonably priced restaurant is a total ripoff. Sorry, no more information is available.

Dan Kravitz

I would have ordered a double whiskey.....and nothing else.
WineHunter.

User avatar
Jim Stewart
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 816
Joined: July 31st, 2018, 9:49 am
Location: MA / FL

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#6 Post by Jim Stewart » July 22nd, 2019, 3:15 am

Mediocrity pervades!

User avatar
Kevin Porter
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1922
Joined: April 29th, 2009, 11:17 am
Location: Near Philadelphia

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#7 Post by Kevin Porter » July 22nd, 2019, 5:18 am

Sorry to hear of your experience.

Is there a neologism for auto-correct better expressing the writer's sentiment? I enjoyed "rhubarb compost".

User avatar
Dave McCloskey
Posts: 806
Joined: April 7th, 2011, 10:46 am

Re: Not an epicurean exploit: Failing up, spectacularly

#8 Post by Dave McCloskey » July 22nd, 2019, 1:46 pm

Dan I understand your frustration and agree with your overall philosophy that less is more, especially when it come to Foie Gras. I recently went to a "Brasserie" and they poured Maple syrup over their seared Foie Gras. Ugh!

Post Reply

Return to “Epicurean Exploits”