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just posting this here since nymag’s review came out earlier this month…and i am just a teensy bit envious (ok a lot envious) of ny-based mffs i look forward to reading about your adventures. ———— A visit to Eulalie begins, inevitably, with an outgoing voice-mail message. That alone may be disqualifying for whole swaths of would-be diners; Eulalie is on no reservation apps and has no official website. “You have found us in the wonderful and historic Tribeca,” announces the voice of Tina Vaughn, who, with her husband, Chip Smith, runs Eulalie in the address recently vacated by Bâtard. This is not a short message. It comes with news (it is fully booked), rules (“We do so appreciate your best in terms of attire … think more Mad Men and less Grubhub”), and an invitation to leave a message and be called back because, as Vaughn says, “we are so looking forward to welcoming you.” She means it, too. “Welcome to the house!” Vaughn crowed on a recent Tuesday. Eulalie takes its name from a vineyard in the south of France, named by its winemaker for his wife, though it also calls to mind Edgar Allen Poe’s matrimonial poem, about a man who “dwelt alone / In a world of moan / Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride.” After the Klimtian moodiness of Bâtard the space has been stripped to a kind of Colonial plainness with pea-green, mostly unadorned walls and yards of white tablecloth. But Vaughn warms her dining room like a roost, and the whole place has a family feeling. I had been only once before, but already I had a usual table…. ….Smith’s menu — currently served as a $115 prix fixe — is a tour through a Silver Palate–ish sophistication. Every dinner starts with terrine for the table (the variety of which is rotated every two weeks), with brioche toasts and homemade pickles, and a midcourse quenelle bobbing in a little bowl of oceanic sea-bass soupe de poisson and crowned with caviar. Among the starters, you might bow to the overriding ambience and have a savory mushroom tart, a square of homemade puff pastry atop a zigzag squiggle of balsamic reduction, or the soufflé of the moment — goat cheese one visit, blue cheese another. But — and I am aware that I am striking at the heart here, so I -apologize — the soufflés were puckish and dense on both my visits. If you see trotter among the appetizers, crisp and golden on the outside but crumbling at a touch to gamy tenderness, get that instead. It comes with turnips and a “pot likker” of their greens, a nod to the owners’ southern heritage. (Their first restaurant was in Kitty Hawk.) “This is the best foot I have ever eaten,” a tablemate remarked.
the room has only eight tables and yet i can barely hear hubby. there’s lots of wood and zero sound absorption. i just don’t understand how a three star michelin restaurant doesn’t have carpeting. it’s not like they can’t afford it. may 2017 review at the infatuation june 2018 sf chronicle review oh, but you’re not here to read my rants about the décor. some dishes worked such as dry-aged black cod served with meyer lemon, chard kimchi, preserved persimmon and herb/flower salad and dungeness crab ice cream with caviar, crab chicharrón and crab broth, and others were a complete miss (like a beet ceviche in which the grated root vegetable bordered on acrid due to being overwhelmed by vinegar) and a carrot taco with rutabaga and turnip purée that basically tasted like nothing. a fermented leek tart (leek custard, buckwheat sablèe, leek tempura) doubles as a cheese course and bridges savory and sweet. some of you who are purists might find yourself wishing for plain old cheese instead. i’m glad we went, but i don’t think we’ll be returning anytime soon.
we weren’t able to land a reservation at le bernardin. perhaps next time. i heard from a food board friend that jean georges’ best days are in the past. i don’t know if i agree with that assessment. i had never been there until tonight and as far as i can tell, it’s operating at top form. one standout in particular was squash dumpling, black truffles, hazelnut, parmigiano, brown butter. i am typically not a fan of foam but the execution worked here, and i did not mind.