"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gascogne - May 2010

Review of restaurants should be foremost about the food: As long as the food is good, who cares about the rest? Taste, taste and taste - that is all a true gourmet cares. All other shortcomings can be forgiven as long as the food is lovely: If you love someone, you must love everything about that person, correct? Yet, most of the so-called reviews seem to be more interested in whining about the service (I say, expertise deserves respect, although many seem to disagree: don't ask for parmeggiano reggiano for your spaghetti alle vongole; it is your fault, if the chef gets a bit nasty) or the proximity of tables (do not be such a selfish anthropophobe: love thy neighbor, remember?) above food. If you are so easily disturbed, a little meditation or therapy can help, you know?

However, Gascogne is an exception to my rule of review: the atmosphere and the service of this restaurants is remarkable because they are so French. The cozy and tranquil back garden creates the illusion that you are in Paris, provided that you do not look up at the back walls of the buildings. One Saturday evening, I was running late for the 7PM reservation by more than 30 minutes, which caused my punctual friend to suffer a wait on the bench outside, and yet when I finally arrived, the staff seated us without a fuss. More to the credits of Gascogne, we only told our waiter once that we were waiting for one more person to arrive, and the waiter never asked us again until we gave up waiting and ready to order - one hour later. Truly graceful, the waiter did not bring our bill until we had fully digested the dessert - another hour later. I will give you this: When the food is fine, service and atmosphere do enhance the overall experience.

Escargot: Unfortunately, really unfortunately, the puff pastry could not cover the less-than-admirable quality of the escargot inside. The lack of quality, nevertheless, was rescued by the fact that it was seasoned well, if not superbly so. Edible? - yes; Will I order again? - maybe no.

Terrine de Lapereau: Delicate with the cooling gelee, this was a delight on my palate.

Foie Gras Poele: Did this come from the Hudson Valley? Or...? If they indeed have come from the Hudson Valley, the foie gras at Gascogne fooled me well. No matter how much they try upstate, the foie gras of the etats-unis is just not the real deal, is it? Biting into the perfectly sealed crust , the runny decadence inside melted into my mouth...lovely, lovely, lovely.

Confit de Canard: One of my favored dishes, but Gascogne's was a little bit on the fatty side, a little too fatty...

Faux Filet de Boeuf au Poivre Vert: Steak with green pepper corn sauce is also one of my, well, fine, many favored dishes. The sauce was full of spirit; however, could they please get a younger boeuf so it would not be as tough to chew and swallow?

Apricot Flambe: Simply done and irresistible - the acidity of the fresh apricot with a touch of sweetness from the brandy were light and round off the dinner satisfactorily.

Crepes Suzette: Prepared by the waiter and properly caramelized by a beautiful fire at a safe distance (so far that I could only see the flame through the window), these crepes were as authentic as they were delectable with the Grand Marnier and orange.

No comments:

Post a Comment