Thursday, February 25, 2010

RW Day 5: Lunch at Cafe des Architectes

What can I say about Cafe des Architectes that hasn't already been said. The decor is chic, yet inviting. The service is pleasant, although formal. And the bread basket is excellent.

The RW lunch menu did not have a vegetarian option, but I called ahead and was told that I could order anything off the main menu for my main course at no extra charge.

We were 20 minutes late for our reservation, but the host happily accommodated us.

Before placing our orders, I informed the server that I was vegetarian and was told that I could order an entrée off the normal menu as part of the RW menu. She seemed very confused and went to check with the kitchen. She returned to inform me that she could offer the beet salad for the main. I asked if I could have one of the pasta dishes, particularly the homemade gnocchi. She again went to ask the kitchen. She returned saying the chef would make me a pasta. There was clearly a lack of communication between the hostess I spoke with and the server. It reminded of the days when I would go to a fancy restaurant without any vegetarian entrée options, and the chef would offer to make pasta primavera for $35.

We enjoyed the bread basket and butter. The first course was parsnip veloutte, a light, frothy soup with parmesan and truffle butter accompanied by homemade brioche. Divine. The parsnip flavor was pronounced but well balanced by the truffle butter.

As a main I had a nice pasta with asparagus, butternut squash, winter carrots in a spicy light tomato sauce. It was not what I requested, but satisfying nonetheless. At least it wasn't pasta primavera!

Dessert was terrific: praline crunch... rectangular bars layered with dark Valrhona chocolate mousse, hazelnut nougatine, and espresso crème anglaise. Think Nutella + Ferrero Rocher taken to new levels of awesomeness. 

parsnip veloutte and dessert were divine. I wanted to be pleased with the service but the miscommunication diminished the experience. I would not have chosen Cafe des Architectes during RW if the hostess hadn't offered me menu options for the main. I am left with mixed feelings.

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