Restaurant Week, Part I

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It's Restaurant Week, which mean a week-long festival of gluttony dining at some of New York's better restaurants (it should be noted that with the exception of Gramercy Tavern, many of New York's finest restaurants don't participate in Restaurant Week as they'd be losing money at $20 for lunch).

Today's target restaurant was D'Artagnan, a restaurant specializing in the native cuisines of Gascony (meaning duck, goose, and foie gras). Which is where the musketeer D'Artagnan comes from. Not that it really matters.

Decor is amusingly goofy -- a cross between a french country house and a musketeer dormitory (crossed swords on the walls, musketeer movie posters, including one for what must have been an absolutely dreadful movie called Cyrano et D'Artagnan). The restaurant week menu itself was rather plain and straightforward: the entree was a choice between a mesculn salad or the soup d'jour; the plat was either rotisserie chicken or salmon (the salmon is, of course, not native to Gascony); dessert was a rice pudding.

I went with the soup (carrot) and the chicken. My dining partners showed better judgment than I by opting out of the prix fixe and ordering a la carte.

The soup came undersalted. Once I had corrected that, it was a very nice, very carroty soup that had a little bit of olive oil poured on the top of the soup.

The chicken leg was wonderfully done, served in a dark broth with potatoes that had been roasted in the drippings from the rotisserie. The skin was thin and crispy and the tasty, juice flesh fell right off the bone. It was how chicken was supposed to be done. The potatoes were pretty good, too.

And dessert? Well, there's really only so much you can do with rice pudding. It was very nice and they used real caramel (as opposed to the stuff you get out of a can) to make a design in the middle of the plate that was either a stylized picture of a duck or a stylized "D", depending on how the plate was oriented.

Overall? I'd give it 2 stars out of 4 on the New York Times scale. Points off for not really featuring the cooking style that defines the restaurant on the prix fixe. If you go, my recommendation is to skip the lunch menu and just dive straight into the (really, really, really excellent) foie gras.

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The venerable Paul Frankenstein is in the midst of some sort of NYC eat-fest. I found this laughable: Decor is Read More

The venerable Paul Frankenstein is in the midst of some sort of NYC eat-fest. I found this laughable: Decor is Read More


I hope Thursday and Friday will prove different...

Well, you have to remember that the Times scale is:
No stars: Poor to staisfactory
*: Good
**: Very good
***: Excellent
****: Extraordinary.

So 2 stars is nothing to sneeze at.

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