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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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I really liked Chevalier.

 

I'd never been to La Grenouille, so I wasn't sure what to expect... it was really odd to be greeted with "bonsoir" and referred to as "monsieur", that was a little weird.

 

I didn't mind the room at all - I didn't find it to be overkill, thought it was nice, but it was definitely not a young crowd eating there. Didn't have the same allergic reaction to the other people there as Sneakeater because I don't know enough to have that kind of response.

 

I thought the food was fantastic. Had the tasting, which had changed significantly from what Wilfrid had - a salmon "tartare" as an amuse, then a small sturgeon and caviar dish, a really lovely pea agnolotti with morels, an interesting shellfish-heavy bouillabaisse with the best scallop I'd had in a while, and a nice pan-seared duck breast as the final savory. Dessert was great too - a little free-standing creme brulee topped with tasty bits of fruit.

 

Now that I think about it, in retrospect, the bill turned out surprisingly expensive, and I wish I'd kept a copy of the receipt to check if I had made some sort of error. Oh well. This is going to bother me if I keep thinking about it, so I'm going to stop. I didn't think enough of it at the time.

 

To me, Chevalier was a very enjoyable restaurant overall. It feels a bit inappropriate and embarrassing to eat out like this too often, so I don't think I'll actually go there any more often than Sneakeater does, but I'll be wishing I could.

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I saw that the Baccarat's bar is opening tonight. No date yet for the main restaurant, Chevalier. This is the place Charles Masson will be running, with Shea Gallante in the kitchen. Modern take on

I recall the good old days when I went to a restaurant for the food. Now I have all these other things to worry about to determine if I had a good time.

I've been to that downstairs bar twice, and both times got a seat with no trouble at all.   I went upstairs only once. The bar was such a madhouse that a guy in a suit wouldn't even let me in the do

Forgot to mention - had the wine pairing, the same Sonoma Viognier that Wilfrid mentioned went great with the pea agnolotti. Pours were a little stingy though.

 

One of the people there looked a lot like Charles Masson (at least from photos), which was weird.

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I'd never been to La Grenouille, so I wasn't sure what to expect... it was really odd to be greeted with "bonsoir" and referred to as "monsieur", that was a little weird

 

This. Why would they do this? I can count on zero hands the times I've been called "monsieur" this week.* Did they call you "monsieur taion" at club chases et peche? It's parodic.

 

*eta: as my wife points out, I'm actually called that everywhere. But it's totally invisible, not a glaring affectation.

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taion,

 

I'm so glad you liked Chevalier though based on what you've said previously, I'm not too surprised. All of us who have dined there agree that the food is fantastic. No surprise there either since Shea Gallante is very talented. And who could disagree that the dining room is lovely? I'm not sure what objection Sneakeater had to the crowd (he ate at the bar, not in the dining room), but I didn't see anything wrong with it.

 

When we were young, a restaurant like Chevalier would been a special occasion place for us. Now, I'm not embarrassed to say that it's the kind of restaurant that's in our regular rotation.

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The odd thing is that anyone would ask why, as if the tradition of French restaurant service was an esoteric mystery.

 

Ever heard a waiter in an Italian restaurant say Buonasera or Signorina?

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The naming of restaurants, the use of idiomatic phrases on the menu and by the staff, and frequently the decor and other aspects of the experience, are designed to create, if not the illusion, then a vague sense of dining in the country to which the restaurant claims allegiance.

 

This certainly isn't a special characteristic of formal or French restaurants. What do the staff yell when you enter a traditional ramen house?

 

Feel free to dislike it, but it's a tradition almost as old as restaurants themselves, and as far as I can see universal.

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What do the staff yell when you enter a traditional ramen house?

 

 

Welcome?

 

Adrian should now say he objects to a French restaurant intentionally employing French staff.

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The naming of restaurants, the use of idiomatic phrases on the menu and by the staff, and frequently the decor and other aspects of the experience, are designed to create, if not the illusion, then a vague sense of dining in the country to which the restaurant claims allegiance.

 

This certainly isn't a special characteristic of formal or French restaurants. What do the staff yell when you enter a traditional ramen house?

 

Feel free to dislike it, but it's a tradition almost as old as restaurants themselves, and as far as I can see universal.

The other night I went to Gray's Papaya.

 

Staff yelled : "Next!"

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What do the staff yell when you enter a traditional ramen house?

 

Welcome?

 

Adrian should now say he objects to a French restaurant intentionally employing French staff.

I don't much care. Fine dining restaurants should employ competent staff. The most successful American French fine dining restaurants largely do not follow the idioms - Jean George's, emp, per se, hell, manresa - nor do they employ exclusively French staff. Do they call you Monsieur at Batard? Do they follow these tropes in Montreal?

 

I am cheering for the fine dining French restaurant. I'm writing this from France! But these tropes at best signify Epcot center (which is fine or even desirable for a ramen joint) and at worst are a cultural affront that harkens back to a time before Keller, Jg, Danny Meyer and others Americanized the French dining experience. you can serve all the great food that you want, but if you continue to behave like its 1985 and Americans need the French to give them a good meal, you're not going to win.

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