What a big disappointment this restaurant turned out to be. Be advised that, even though we were told on the phone that one could order a la carte or prix fix, upon sitting down to order at the restaurant, after much frustration from our waiter, who was ill informed and not a good listener to what is being asked, it became clear this was not at all true. The only a la carte item one was permitted to order was the fourchon lobster entree. Everything else must be the prix fix dinner of $44; you may, of course, add on lobster, $12 additonal in the salad, $16 additonal as the entree; side dishes at $6 each. Drinks, hot and cold are all extra as well.
The food is quite mediocre, certainly not the type of cuisine we expected from a good culinary school, and most certainly not at the prices being charged. On a Saturday evening, staff should expect to be well prepared, with some training. Overseeing staff. although pleasant, did not know what each was doing or who was responsible for what. Serving staff was friendly, but completely uninformed about every single item on the food menu and the wine list, that we gave up, asked the waiter to leave us alone for awhile, and simply tried to figure things out for ourselves as best we could.
Even ordering a bottle of wine became a comedy. When asked about a partiuclar bottle of red wine on the list from Burgundy, a gamay grape, the waiter insisted, quite adamantly, that it was absolutely not a Beaujolai. In our long experience with wine, that grape is used for dry,light wines. We decided it might be light enough for us for the meal, with our varied entrees, suspecting it was Beaujolais-like anyway, and ordered it. When the bottle arrived, it clearly stated "Beaujolais" across the front.
The ordering of each dish was much more difficult than the wine discussion. Our waiter simply could not describe anything, so we had to take guesses as to what the ingredients might be and the preparations. We had no idea what might or might not come with the main item on each dish, so we ended up ordering extra, which we did not need. Of course, we had to wait until the food arrived to see that.
The stuffed calamari appetizer was an interesting presentation; too bad the calamari was dry and chewy, because the stuffing, although very dry as well, was tasty. The pate selection appetizer had a bit of foie gras and then coarse pate samples, a bit too fatty but okay, except for one sample that was not edible- just too much gristle. Salads were fine.
The best prepared entree dish was the arctic char; although an extremely small piece of filet, stingy actually, it was moist and light. The other entrees each had a more reasonable sized portion; not large, but much more than the arctic char. The duck breast was pleasant, but the insides of the cherries were so brandy soaked, they tasted medicinal . The tuna was passable, but we have tasted much better. The veal was tasty but rather dry and chewy. And the big come-on about the fourchon lobster is a real joke. Those who ordered the appetizer salad, with a few small pieces of the fourchon added, found it to be okay, but not special. The one main dish of the fourchon was a joke. The tail meat was very tough and chewy; the claws were better, but none of it was moist, tender and sweet as good lobster should be. We have lobster often; this was unacceptable. Do not waste the money. Save your lobster desires for deserving seafood restaurants all around the city.
Desserts were okay: sorbet, creme brulle and their interpretation of a straberry shortcake were nice. Mousse square so so. Skip the turnover- small and dry, with barely any filling. The side of ice cream with it was less than a teaspoonful.
Too many good places to eat in New York City, better food and certainly better service, and for less money. There is no reason for us ever to return to this eating establishment.