RW – Fleur de Sel
July 25, 2008 § 5 Comments
Restaurant Week kicked off Monday, and yesterday, Cathy, Tonia, and I met for lunch at Fleur de Sel in the Flatiron District near Union Square. The restaurant is rather small with amber lighting and what took up most of our attention while we waiting for our food was a weird sculptural bottle holder with a tree growing out of it. When I got back to a computer, I tried researching the significance of the gnarled plant, but no leaves.
For Restaurant Week, there were two choices for each of the three courses. For the first, all three of us ordered the chicken liver pate with salad, brioche toasts, and a balsamic reduction. As usual with French cuisine, the portions were small and such a tease. But it was the BEST pate I’ve had. It was so smooth, so creamy, so well-seasoned that I wished they gave us more brioche – light and crisp with a buttery sweetness – because the two paired beautifully. In the end we ended up smearing the extra on slices of the regular country bread they doled out for us throughout the course of the meal.
For the main course, there was pan seared cod with lobster emulsion and lamb shank crepe with baby carrots and turnips served au jus (what I had). The crepe was extremely thin and delicate and there was no skimping on the lamb which was extremely tender. I kept clanging my fork and knife against the plate because I was so eager to eat it all. I tried a bit of Cathy’s cod and it was so light that it broke apart almost immediately after you even slightly prodded it.
Dessert was the perfect end to an excellent meal. There was an assortment of sorbets with a sugary meringue at the bottom and a blueberry crumbcake with sorbet that was surprisingly light. The flavors of each of the sorbets were incredibly distinct – I hate when all you taste is sugar and nothing else when it comes to ice cream/frozen yogurt/etc. The only thing I regretted overall that the three courses were over so quickly.
The prix fixe for lunch is only 5 dollars more than the Restaurant Week price at 29 dollars. Considering the quality and presentation of the food that Cyril Renaud is creating from the kitchen, that’s still a heck of a deal. Plus, the menus change in tandem with the season and availability of ingredients so you’re not always going to see the same choices. Highly recommend it – if you can, try the pate! It was my favorite part of the meal.
Fleur de Sel
5 E. 20th St nr. 5th Avenue