Saturday, May 19, 2012

Disappointed -- again -- at Jean-Robert's Table :-(

I really want to like -- no, love -- Jean-Robert's Table. Chef is such a superb citizen of our city, so generous in charitable works, and my francophilia (if that's a word) makes me want a French restaurant to be the best, and my favorite, in town.
But I haven't had a perfect meal there, or even a terribly interesting one. The room itself is lovely, but the food (alas) just never rises to the level I feel it should.
I went with a friend to try the Springtime in Paris Thursday night promotion, available every Thursday this month. The quality/price ration for this deal was excellent! Four courses for $40, with wine pairings for another $20 --can't be beat. The amount of food and wine you get for the money was outstanding; in fact, it was too much of both for me. I ran out of stomach room, and was already buzzed, after the second course.
That was actually OK, since the first two courses were the best. (Every one of the four wines was great, and our favorite was the finale.)
Shrimp salad -- delish!
First course (best of all): Shrimp salad with pineapple, snow pears, radish, cucumber and ginger, paired with a French Aligote -- best dish of the night.
Second course: Arctic char with polenta, sauteed peppers and watercress salad, along with Rochette Morgon Cru Beaujolais, another winner of a wine, and a decent preparation on the fish.
Arctic char

Things went downhill.
The "main course" was a lackluster Cornish game hen, served with a nice Bordeaux wine.
Dessert was almost inedible, billed as "Strawberry-violet charlotte," it was dry, tasteless ladyfingers arrayed around an insipid, custardy filling. The tasty Albert Bicho Rose burgundy (sparkling) pairing took the sting out of the ending of this meal.
Looks better than tastes
I realize that I am nobody and Jean-Robert de Cavel is a prominent citizen, renowned chef, and successful resterateur (did I spell that right?) in our city. But I'm just saying......I can think of several local establishments that have satisfied me more consistently than Table has. (Bouquet, Boca until recently, La Poste, Rue Dumaine, Abigail Street, Enoteca Emilia...) None of these has the ambition, or the reach, of Table, but they don't disappoint, either.
 That said, the Springtime in Paris deal is worth doing, if only for the first two courses and the really good wine.

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