Fat Geese for Fat Cats

That foie gras would sure taste good on someone else's dime

"Crispy skin duck magret" was also gratifying, even if the skin wasn't particularly crisp. However, the duck breasts' juicy red meat was just fine, as was a sweet/sour "sauco sauce," which is akin to a blackberry gastrique, a fruity sauce with a vinegary kick. A cylinder of potato gratin on the side was lusciously layered with melted Gruyre and Parmesan cheeses, and haricots verts were bright green and crunchy, if devoid of seasoning.

Desserts are ambitious: fried banana ravioli drizzled with a syrup of orange, cinnamon, and cloves; tiramisu of Mandarin oranges, Brazil nuts, and sauce anglaise; and chilled pumpkin mousse piped into a walnut crust with Amaretto caramel sauce. Another mousse is based on lucuma, a round, green, tropical fruit with bright yellow pulp. The smooth, creamy purée exuded flavors of banana and maple, and was served atop a pralinelike base with a smidgen of chocolate ice cream and two soft, chewy chocolate wafers. A safer, less exotic option might be to order an individual round of soothing goat cheese cheesecake. The grainy texture is similar to that of ricotta cheesecake, with a moderately tart taste offset by a dulcet drizzle of honey.

Paying top dollar yields expectations of not only top cuisine, but also of topnotch service. You might just get the latter if you dine here during nonpeak hours, because the waitstaff is extremely well trained, works in crisply efficient fashion, and maintains the proper balance between personable and professional. As the room filled, however, the undermanned team became overstretched, and like broken elastic, our waiter and busperson didn't bounce back to the table for water or coffee refills — or to pick up the check. This is a problem easily solved with a few more hands on deck.

JOE ROCCO

Details

Open Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Monday through Wednesday 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 6:00 to 11:30 p.m., Sunday 5:30 to 10:00 p.m.
2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables; 305-914-1300.

Regarding that hefty check: One way to avoid it is to come here for lunch, when smaller portions of many dinner entrées are available at half the price. Another solution would be to wait until a generous friend offers to take you out to eat. That $29 foie gras would sure taste good on someone else's dime.

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