A caveat – this is not a recent meal, but I still thought it might be a relevant post.
Decoret – lunch
We were really looking forward to this dining experience as Decoret was billed as one of the chefs to really watch and that his blend of avant-garde cuisine was fun as well as delicious. We decided on the “menu confiance JD” – in other words we put our faith on the chef.
1st Course – A lunch tray or T.V. snack plate is presented with 4 small tastes. In a cellophane packet, a bunch of dried ‘petals” of vegetables, on a potato used for support only, 2 potato chips flecked with some sort of herb, in a small mason jar, deep-fried tiny fish (seemed like a type of smelt) and a millefeuille of red and black radish with diced salmon seasoned with sesame seeds and sesame oil between the radish slices.
2nd Course – In a plastic glass, small 1/8 inch dice of asparagus on the bottom, the “milk” of green asparagus, then a parmesan foam layer topped with a parmesan slice. To the right was a clever delivery system – a cone, printed like a crossword puzzle with parmesan crisps. (Photo is out-of-focus – blame John)
3rd Course – Foie Gras de canard poele en choucroute imaginaire, assaisonne au sel de lard Alsacien. This had as much to do with a choucroute as a pile of white beans resembles cassoulet. The sauteed foie sat on a cabbage leaf with a line of cabbage gelee topped with a small piece of bacon. To the right was some pool of purple that I couldn’t identify.
Now, if you want to see what a great chef can do to re-create an imaginary choucroute see what I said about Ludo’s dish.
Veal, Imaginary Choucroute – cumin and mustard sauce, coleslaw gelee, braised red cabbage with lard, frankfurt sausage, braised bok choy, steamed fingerling potato. I loved the imagination, the taste and the conception of this dish. The veal chops are first presented on the bone and placed on a serving cart. The veal is then carved, then plated with the “choucroute” and enrobed with the sauce. Delicious
4th Course – Un feuille de sucrine cru et tiede, les escargot pris dans un coque de pain et les copeaux de chevre. On cold lettuce (sucrine) sat what resembled a cromesquis of snails with traditional snail saucing – butter, garlic and parsley. To the right was the “warm” lettuce leaf and 2 shavings of goat cheese. Actually, I enjoyed this dish as I thought the delivery system was imaginative and the snails not at all rubbery.
5th Course – Oyster – A balloon is presented in an oyster shell with a purple type string at the top of the balloon. You are instructed to place the ball in your mouth, and then bite down while pulling on the string. There is an explosion in your mouth of thick oyster bouillon (more milky and thick than a thin bouillon). OK, everyone’s description of this dish as the ultimate blowjob is descriptive and approximates the experience. Clever, fun and tasty.
6th Course – Crusted grilled mackerel topped by long, thin spirals off beets that I am guessing was done with that Japanese cutter for daikon. Saucing was what the menu described as a “marinade” —- obviously this meant a seasoned liquid in which the fish had been steeped, but no hints were given as to what the liquid was. The quality of the fish was poor.
7th Course – European bass (bar sauvage du Finistere) confit at 50 degrees with a sauce of jus de navets Parisien (turnips). At the top of the plate was a rectangular log of cooked and raw cauliflower that was awful. Also on top of the bass was the turnip sauce. The bass itself can only be described as ordinary.
8th Course – On a bed of spinach sat a poor quality lamb chop – 71 poele that I assume means pan-fried at 71 degrees. At the top right was a mound of horseradish cream, then a pile of capers and finally a quenelle of chorizo. To the left of the chop a croustillant with capers. The lamb was inedible.
9th Course – Fromage Blanc with Honey
10th Course – Cheese Plate
11th Course – Strawberries with Rhubarb Foam
12th Course – The Palate Destroyer – Placed on a battery was a small flower that you were suppose to place in your mouth. Well, it definitely shocks your mouth and there is a sensation of intense heat plus numbness and your palate is destroyed for the rest of the meal.
13th and 14th Course – I don’t have a clue – I couldn’t taste anything after number 12.
Somehow we had pissed off the sommelier as he completely ignored us. The lamb was served and our untouched red wine sat on a table yards away. Madame Decoret was busy with paperwork and had her back to the restaurant most of the time. Our waitress was cordial enough, but not exactly knowledgeable about the ingredients that the chef was using.
We were unimpressed with Decoret. Ingredient quality was poor, especially noticeable when the “special effects” were absent. Sometimes the hype was more on the menu descriptions i.e. the imaginary choucroute than the actual dish, Decoret is not a restaurant that I would go out off my way for and given the choice, I would avoid.