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“Fabulous Food in Unpretentious Atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tocqueville

Tocqueville
1 E 15th St, New York City, NY 10003 (Flatiron District)
(212) 647-1515
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Ranked #105 of 11,180 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $80
Cuisines: French, American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Flatiron District
Cross street: Union Square and Fifth Avenue
Transit: Union Square 4,5,6,N,Q,R,L,F,M
New York
Top Contributor
328 reviews 328 reviews
293 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
167 helpful votes 167 helpful votes
“Fabulous Food in Unpretentious Atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2010

Tocqueville was always one of those classic places that sounded attractive menu-wise, but seemed so elegant that I never made it a top priority. Though many could look upon this restaurant as a stuffy, highbrow destination, I would tend to disagree. The service was first-rate, for sure, but the classy, home-style decor made us feel like we were welcomed guests at a glamorous 5th Avenue apartment. The driving force behind our visit to the exclusive eatery was the Zagat Presents showcase of Tocqueville's 10th anniversary menu. An email from the renowned rating company provided a sneak-peek at the decadent 4-course menu, which lured us in as if we had not eaten in days. My friends and I were sold on the idea of catching up over some first-rate cuisine.

I arrived at Tocqueville several minutes late for our reservation. I bustled through the front door and walked into what looked like the entrance way to a fancy home. I checked my coat with the gorgeous, statuesque hostess and proceed into the small, relaxed bar area. My friends settled their tab, and we were promptly escorted to a lovely table in the center of the dining room. Sure, we were some of the youngest patrons in the restaurant, but that did not affect our experience at all. While other top restaurants would be inclined to seat us in a cramped corner, there was no ageism at this classic spot.

While my friends enjoyed what was left of their wine, I chimed in by ordering a great glass of German Riesling for an affordable $11 (many other varietals were closer to $15). Despite my snobbery regarding other screw-cap wines, this blend was deliciously tender and sweet.

Our meal started with a generous basket of cheddar biscuits. The miniature buns were packed with a bold cheesy flavor. Luckily, our bread course continued when we were visited by the dough fairy, delivering our choice of baked goodness from his large basket. Our options included cranberry walnut, focaccia, or french rolls. The cranberry walnut mini baguettes were moist and full of sweet berries.

Our first round of menu items was presented as an artsy appetizer sampler plate. It included an Asian soup spoon of tender tuna tartare, a crisp rice cracker topped with a lump crab meat salad, a sliced toast round topped with a hazelnut and chickpea mousse, and lastly a delicious crispy fried potato croquette. The plate of global flavors resulted in the satisfied sigh heard around the dining room.

From then on, we all enjoyed separate menu items, so we were able to sample as much as possible. The second course of Mushroom & Parmesan Risotto was very creamy and packed with large hen of woods mushrooms. The fragrant broth and delicate grains were a hearty, yet artisanal delight.

For a main course, Diver Sea Scallops were seared and served with foie gras, artichokes, fuji apples, and a cider vinegar gastrique. The scallops were properly cooked, though rather tiny. The large slab of foie gras was succulent and perfectly done. It possessed a surprisingly lean and light flavor. In addition, the artichokes and apples remained firm and did not lose their texture from the rich sauce. This fruity apple reduction, however, was too sweet and slightly overcooked, making it rather syrupy.

The other entree option was a 21-Day Aged Sirloin and Pot Roast Of Beef. This hearty meat platter was served with the obligatory Tocqueville potatoes, an autumn mirepoix, and a rich bone marrow butter. The beef was cooked very rare, but was so well-seasoned that I forgot my fear of bloody meat. The tender, lean cut was like nothing I had ever tasted. A massive fried potato croquette tower was topped with a sunny-side up egg that oozed down the sides of the starchy mountain with each forkful.

As if the meal could not get extravagant enough, we were blessed with some decadent pastries. The Passion Fruit Torte was similar to a fruity, caramelized creme brulee custard that was presented in a mini-pie crust. The crispy shell was very hard, making it difficult to slice, but the inside was creamy, gooey, and fruity. An aromatic lemongrass and lime sorbet added a refreshing coolness to the plate. A candy topping of passion fruit jellies also lended an interesting chewy texture.

While the Torte was extraordinary, the Warm Chocolate Cake was more on the boring side. I sadly missed the gooey center that is usually found within molten cakes. The accompanying mint ice cream, however, was more sophisticated and less dairy-heavy than what you buy in the supermarket.

Our meal at Tocqueville was quite memorable. The food was fantastic, and the decor was classic sheik. The upscale, relaxed vibe welcomed me with open arms that I plan to revisit whenever I am in need of a culinary hug.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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144 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Boston
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Delicious Food and Great Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2010

I went to Tocqueville with a group of friends this past Monday for Restaurant Week, and was impressed with both the food and service at the restaurant. The menu for Restaurant Week was pretty good. I opted to get the kabocha squash puree for an appetizer, which was really good. For an entree I had the brisket, which also came with horseradish flan and a parsnip puree. The sauce on the brisket was delicious, although the piece I got was a little fatty. For dessert I had the chocolate tort, which was very rich and tasty.

The servers were very attentive, refilling our water frequently and bringing us extra bread. Overall it was a great experience. The regular menu also looked good, although pricey.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
107 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Tocqueville - Worth The Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2010

My group of four went for the restaurant week lunch special and could not have been more pleased. The resturant has a confortable/stylish decor and the tables are properly spaced to allow for conversation amongst friends. The special menu ($24.07) included a guinea hen pate appetizer that was excellent, and a brisket entree that was cooked to perfection. The special menu included the opportunity (at an additional cost of $15.00) to have the wine pairings, which were well matched and a bargain. We cheated, we also ordered an extra Foir Gras Terrine appetizer ($22.00) and were not disappointed by the presentation or the taste. One member of my party ordered from the regular menu. He had the Golden Beet Risotto appetizer and a main course of Poached Maine Lobster wrapped in smoked crispy pork belly with a port wine lobster reduction ($36.00). This lobster dish was spectacular and worth a return trip. All of the portions were on the small side (an entree alone would not have been enough), but this restaurant was definetly going for quality over quantity, and succeeded. The service was leisurely (slow to some) and is designed for those who are not in a rush to be someplace. You don't want to lunch here if you intend to make a matinee at the theatre. I was thrown off by the tripadvisor reviewers' low ranking (1823) of this restaurant. Maybe we were just lucky, but this ranking seems out-of-line. The restaurant is a bit pricey, but we found it to be a reasonable price for an absolutely pleasurable afternoon.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crete
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“not worthing much”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2010

We dinned on the christmas day 2009 (we were two couples). unfortunately a lot of disappointment. the food was poor (especially the sweets weren't fresh enough) and the worst was the ratio quality and price... it was far too expensive for the food we have been served.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Lovely dining.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2008

Lovely dining.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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