La Grenouille: Excellent dining experience

I’ve just returned from NYC where I was prompted by the very favorable NYTimes review of La Grenouille (“the last great French restaurant in New York”) to try it for the first time. It was the most successful dining experience I’ve had in more than five years so I thought you might like to know about it.

The amuse bouche was a very flavorful pea soup whose green color is hard to see in this picture taken with available light:

The seared foie gras was garnished with quince, which I mistook for apple. The quince had a wonderful flavor that was new to me.

The lobster ravioli were perhaps the least successful dish of the meal — there was no clear flavor — but they were really pretty!

The Dover sole is one of their signature dishes, and rather hard to find on this side of the pond, so we had to splurge. The highly-touted mustard sauce was appropriately mild but the sole was best with just a squeeze of lemon.

Although magret de canard is a great favorite and something I therefore often make at home, I’d never made it a l’orange, so that made it an attractive choice. Imagine my surprise when it appeared without an orange in sight but rather kumquats! What occurred next was even more surprising: when I mentioned the discrepancy to the waiter he returned immediately to suggest that I eat slowly because the chef was preparing an orange sauce for me!

The manager subsequently sent some muscadet to be drunk with the signature dessert souffle; the Grand Marnier was not as good as our own (it needed a big slug of orange rind) but the pistachio was outstanding.

Highly recommended! (There is an inexpensive daily lunch menu in the upstairs dining room and an attractive $59 prix fixe theatre menu served before 6pm.)