Tocqueville – Just wonderful


We recently were given a gift certificate for Tocqueville, which is one of our favorite higher-end restaurants. These days, we seldom go out for a “fancy” dinner (been there, done that), and I find it hard to justify spending $350 to $400 for, say, The Modern, or Picholine, as good as they are. Tocqueville, though, offers food and service of similar quality, but dinner tends to run under $250 for the two of us. I like that it is a la carte, so we don’t have to order more food than we want. With the amuses bouche and mignardises, we find 2 appetizers, 2 mains and a shared dessert to be more than enough. It’s a nice splurge.

This time we started with the foie gras terrine and the sea urchin carbonara, then on to the sea trout with carrot-ginger puree and a tarragon and champagne emulsion and the roasted guinea hen with foie gras sausage. For dessert we shared the pumpkin tart with maple ice cream. Everything was delicious and creative, as always.

We had a lovely bottle of 2008 Chateau Senejac Haut-Medoc, a good buy at $50 (only about twice retail).

Dinner (or lunch) at Tocqueville always feels like being transported to France, if only for a few hours.

Awadh – Great Indian Restaurant on the Upper West Side

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We had a very nice dinner last night at Awadh. This relatively new place, in the space formerly occupied by Alouette for many years, is related to the acclaimed Moti Mahal Delux on the Upper East Side. The decor is modern and sleek.

Our favorite Indian restaurant, Malai Marke in the East Village, is the standard by which we judge all other Indian restaurants, and Awadh did well in comparison.  It’s slightly more expensive, and the beer selection is very limited, but otherwise we had a really good meal, ordering more than we needed to so that we could taste more dishes.

The lamb patties were tasty enough, but the texture was odd, almost mushy. We would have preferred the meat to be firmer. The marinated grilled jumbo prawns (4 of them) were heavenly, with a delicious spicy sauce.  Baby goat with a tomato, onion and yogurt sauce was excellent, and the chicken in cashew sauce was also delicious. The lemon rice was a generous bowl, so we could certainly have done without the naan that the maitre’d encouraged us to order, but nonetheless the bread was very good.   We also had an appetizer of cauliflower with garlic tomato sauce, requested as a side dish with the main course. It was a very generous portion and absolutely scrumptious. All dishes were properly spiced.

The Kingfisher beer, one of only 3 on offer, was a fine accompaniment.

Service is pleasant and efficient.