There are at least two kinds of French restaurants in North America. Those that serve the sort of dishes one learns about in French classes: steak aux poivres, soupe a l'oignon, escargots, etc... Boring and old fashioned. Sometimes such establishments try to re-interpret these tired dishes but really, there isn't much one can do about them. Not to say that they are no good. A well-executed steak aux poivres is always appreciated. But that's the sort of things one could easily cook for oneself at home, no need to pay good money in a restaurant for them. Then more rarely, there are places that use French techniques to do something new, something inventive, something that really cannot be done at home. Restaurant Laloux is such a place. The foundation is unmistakably French. But clearly, the chef has ideas, which are impeccably realized. I ordered the snow crab for appetizer and the salmon as main dish. The crab came out on a tangy and refreshing bed of cucumber salad. Just what it takes to announce that spring has arrived. The salmon was perfectly cooked and served on a small pile of fresh herb spatzle, which was quite an invention.
We ordered a bottle of Cote de Beaune. The wine service was perfect. The temperature was just right. Uncorking and pouring by the wine steward were faultless. And it's not just the wine service that was good. The entire meal was served with competence and just the right amount of friendliness. All this in spite of the place being completely packed.
We were on a business trip and ate dinner at many fancy restaurants. When I checked my receipts afterwards, this place was actually the most reasonable. Amazing.
Bravo Restaurant Laloux!
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