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La Grenouille

lagrenouille

I’ve developed a backlog of over a dozen posts, partially listed here last night. With this post, I begin the process of digging myself out.

Two Thursdays ago, Gail and I flew to New York on the occasion of my mother’s 93rd birthday. I wrote a week ago about our dinner that evening with my sister, my cousin, and their spouses at a place on 84th called Italianissimo, and about Joel’s arrival from LaGuardia (and North Carolina) late in the meal. The next day was the birthday, which we celebrated with a meal at New York’s great French restaurant La Grenouille.

La Grenouille celebrated its 50th anniversary this past December. From the website, we are told that it “serves classic French cuisine and spontaneous creations in a glowing setting that many consider home.” Among those people would be my parents, who have eaten there many times over the last five decades. I believe I ate there twice—back in the 1970s—but not since.

grenouille2

The dining room is beautiful, as the photo above from their website may suggest. And the service is impeccable. While waiting for the rest of the family to arrive, we were offered bread that was a treat on its own.

grenoillebread

To start, I chose Le Potage Saint Germain, or the “Saint Germain” Split Green Pea Soup. Perhaps I should have been more adventurous. Joel had the Pâté de Campagne et Céleri Remoulade, or Country Pâté with Celery Root “Remoulade”. Gail might have had Le Confit de Canard au Pistou, or Duck Confit With “Pistou”. (These descriptions are all as on the online lunch menu.) But I was extremely happy with my soup.

For a main dish, one simply can’t go wrong with their classic sole: La Sole Grillée, Sauce Moutarde, or Grilled Dover Sole, Mustard Sauce. Four of us had it. Before filleting it, they brought a platter with the four servings to show us, then carried it to a side table where it was placed on a warming tray and prepared. I miss sole here in Seattle. Gail keeps telling me that it’s readily available, but mostly what I see on menus is salmon and halibut. The sole was perfect.

Once again, I’m having difficulty remembering what Gail chose. Joel had Les Quenelles de Brochet “Lyonnaise”, or “Quenelles” of Pike “Lyonnaise”. Maybe Gail did too.

The online dessert menu doesn’t seem to match up well with what we had. We were asked as we ordered the main meal if we wanted some of the options that take extra preparation, like soufflés. (According to the menu, there are three options: Grand Marnier, Chocolat ou Citron “Meyer”. Other options offered were an apple tart and a tarte tatin. I chose the apple tart, Gail one of the soufflés. Once again, I couldn’t be happier. The meal was delicious, the service both warm and unobtrusive.

I ought to have more to say, but I don’t remember much more of interest. There was a salmon special that both my parents had. I believe my sister had the tarte tatin. Maybe my brother too. Well, suffice to say that I’ll be happy not to wait another 35 years before returning.

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Categories: Family, Restaurants
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