Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday, Vegas 3

My first dish at L’Atelier is the famous langoustine fritter with basil and pesto. No, first is amuse with spectacular carmelized fois under parmesan foam. Best fois I’ve ever tasted. Fritter blew me away. I loved the combination. My neighbour, who cheered when I ordered it saying I made a good choice (when I told him I was a little disappointed with the langoustine ravioli at the Mansion next door, he thought I was an expert on them, but this is only the 6th time I’ve had langoustines) then told me he thought the basil overwhelmed the subtle crustacean. To me, it seemed rather to magnify the langoustine, taking it to a new level neither would reach without their combination. Neighbour also raved about the John Dory on the Club menu, not a la carte. Our server Eddy assured me the chef could make it for me, so I ordered it instead of, too late to remember now. My next meal was carmelized kampachi with soy and endive salad. A rather confused entrée. Sometimes too fishy, sometimes overwhelmed with soy. I really looked forward to the John Dory. The only JD I’ve had before was the transformational fish at Twist last Feb. My first bite of the Chef of the Century’s JD tasted good. But the more I ate, the fishier it became. A palate annoyer. Too many capers but even their intensity couldn’t do anything about the fishiness, sort of going a different direction than helping. I think the JD could be salvaged if done differently but this style wasn’t working for me. Eddy noticed my disappointment and asked if he could re-do the fish or bring me something else but I said no. The cabbage accompaniment, as my neighbour had raved, was superb. I reveled in my Eastern European ancestry for giving me a clue to how good this vegetable can be. I was given a side dish of Joel’s famous potato butter but it failed to appeal. Cold, hard and uninviting. Unfinished, like the fish. Thankfully uncharged. Food here not nearly as good as next door. My cocktail went spectacularly well with the arresting fois gras amuse and cruised comfortably with the fritter but the kampachi pounded the poor beverage into irrelevance with its sodden soyness and frightening fishicity.
Finally fleeing L’atelier, I stop by the Mansion next door to leave a message for absent Jennifer: she was right about Mon Ami Gabi but my pleasure at her equally recommended L’Atelier ended with the last molecule of langoustine. Alas.


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