Let me preface this article by letting you know this isn’t a regular restaurant that I would be visiting. It is an old favorite of the in-laws and their friends from out of town. When I look at a menu with a $98 three course prefix with add-ons and the lowest priced red on the list is a $55 bottle of vinegar I expect the best from every aspect, unfortunately I didn’t get it.
La Grenouille is stunning when you walk in the door. They have beautiful floral arrangements, the tables are set impeccably, and the wait staff is dressed in matching suits based on their position. The walls are peach to be flattering to the women who visit their establishment and their coatroom is the stairway upstairs to who knows where.
The eight of us were seated a well appointed table for six right in front of the exit from the kitchen with two extra seats, needless to say the table was overfull and we were cramped. A nice result of this for me was that every waiter, busboy, sommelier, or manager who had to enter or exit the kitchen on the left side was sure to bump my seat, elbow my shoulder, jab me in the side with their knee, or rub my back with their bottom. I would have expected at least one of them to apologize to me, but unfortunately my night was to be full of disappointment.
For an appetizer I ordered the truffled poached egg inside a beggar’s purse. It was good, but it needed something, a pinch of salt or a dash of pepper. The truffle flavor wasn’t pronounced and the dumpling was non existent in terms of flavor. The truffle was physically apparent on the dish, but maybe they just needed to put some truffle oil in the water the egg was poached in, or sprinkle some truffle on the egg before poaching. There was no defining flavor to the dish other than the egg itself, you would occasionally taste a bit of truffle, but it was just completely overpowered.
As a main course this evening, I ordered the lamb chops rare. When the lamb chops came, they were the exact same color as the lamb chops of the person to my right who had ordered them medium. There were only two, very small lamb chops on the plate and because they were overcooked, the rich savory flavor I look for in lamb was absent. The sauce on the plate added nothing to the lamb itself and when the guest to my right asked for mint jelly the waiter acted as if he was offended she asked. She wasn’t even given a mint sauce, any chef worth their salt should be able to whip up a mint sauce from the contents of a stocked bar. As a contrast, the potatoes on my plate were very good.
For desert, it seemed like everyone at the table but myself ordered a soufflé of some sort. I got an orange chocolate ganache cake. While it was good, it wasn’t anything to crow about and I let two people having the soufflé try mine and they said mine was better.
Overall, unless you want a really pretty restaurant, go somewhere else and get better food. It will be much more pleasant for everyone involved.