I love dining with M. He loves food, loves champagne and loves good service.. plus, it had been four months since we had seen each other. He looked very handsome with a turtleneck sweater and jacket. I love it when a man dresses well. We couldn't stop talking. We shared updates on our recent trips. His to Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile and mine to France.
I was bit anxious when I arrived, as one of my bedside tables, a Nelson Bubble Cigar Wall Sconce, had just exploded before my departure. Fire and electricity make me feel uneasy, especially in my home. Luckily, I was in my room when the event happened. Who knows what I would have returned home to if unattended? I feel grateful today.
It was a cold and windy day in New York and I was in the mood for heartier food. We started with the Le Risotto Aux Champignons (wild mushrooms risotto), which was good but not noteworthy. The temperature was a bit too cool and it was not cooked slightly al dente, which I prefer. We were comped the middle course, the La Tourte Aux Poireaux, Frisee Et Persil Plat (leek torte with frisee and flat parsley). It was decent. I liked the sauce in the Les Quenelles De Brochet Lyonnaise ("quenelles" of pike "lyonnaise") but the didn't like the spongey texture of the quenelles, a house specialty. I also didn't like the accompanying separated white rice.
The management liked M and they comped him a bottle of the 2002 Paul Goerg Blanc de Blancs. It had some apple and leesiness on the nose and almost a gritty texture on the palate. It went well with our dishes. I didn't like their champagne list; this seemed to be the most reasonable option.
My favorite dish of the lunch was the La Tarte Feuilletée aux Pommes Chaude et sa Glace Vanille. Executed perfectly! Like an apple tatin but surrounded with puff pastry. I am usually not a huge fan of desserts(more savory palate) but this dish had the perfect balance of taste, texture, and density. Oh la la!
I was impressed with both the service and the decor. La Grenouille is famous for their flower arrangements and deservadly so. The staff executed flawlessly. My only hestitation in returning here is the crowd. I don't like the plastic surgery and heavily botoxed set. There is a place in NYC for classic French food yet after dining here, I felt nostalgic for the food of an old favorite, La Côte Basque.
3 East 52nd Street
(between Fifth and Madison Avenues)
New York City