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Degustation

I plan to go Saturday night on a date. She is not overly adventurous with food. Will she be able to find enough to eat? Will the tasting menu be a mistake? What would you recommend a la carte?

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  1. You picked a really great place for a date if you're both foodies, I think even if your not but some may disagree. It is all about the show the Chef's put on. If the date is going well you can canoodle a little bit if not you can enjoy the food and work on the canoodling.

    No matter what you order the portions are small and priced accordingly, it is a good bargain. We ordered a la carte and were so satisfied with the food we ordered everything on the menu and some doubles and still could have ate more. That's not a negative really it goes to how good the food is and what a good time we were having.

    Ask to be seated in the middle of the counter so you get the full view, and have a great time!

    PS wines by the glass are really good and you could try just about everything for a real value.

    1. Degustation is a perfect date place - I say this having been there just last night on a date. As chalz mentioned, portions are small, but we found them ideal for sharing so we could sample most of the menu. Like, chalz, we ordered a la carte, and ended up with eight dishes plus a cheese plate for dessert. Menu standouts were the squid and the sweetbreads, but in all honesty every dish we tried was quite good - no misses. The wine list is rather short but very reasonably priced, and we shared a bottle with dinner and then each had a glass of Sauternes with our cheese plate. Overall a really lovely dining experience. Enjoy your date!

      1. Personally I would not take someone to this place if he or she was not adventurous about food.

        1. We are going this Friday. Not sure if it's good for a first date because you sit at the counter and it's an open kitchen.

          8 Replies
          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Degustation is perhaps not ideal for a first date, though I still think it would work because the food and watching the chefs work are perfect fodder for converastion (should it ever lag) and the space is intimate without being overly romantic. I think it works even better for a second or third date.

            1. re: slcorlis

              We are going this Friday and I read the detailed chowhound post (June 2006). Anyone gone recently and have suggestions? I don't eat red meat so I'll skip the pork belly. Otherwise I'll try almost anything once.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                The squid is stuffed with short ribs, as I remember.

              2. re: slcorlis

                Missed your earlier post re: squid, etc. Thanks.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Hi financialdistrictresident! (by the way, I also live in Battery Place, so we are neighbors! =D)

                  I go to Degustation once about every month, and while they will add a few dishes on the menu every now and then, there are a few dishes (non-red meat items) that constantly standout:

                  - The croquettes
                  - The poached eggs with asparagus (it has serrano ham, but if you do not eat red meat only because you don't like it, you can leave that out (or ask the chef, since all the dishes are made to order)
                  - the scallops
                  - sweetbread (is organ a "red-meat"? ^_^")
                  - langoustines (when they have it)
                  - quail
                  - mackerel
                  - they have a "cannelloni" of red pepper and vegetables which my friend enjoyed. I am not a veggie person so I didn't try.

                  Their entrees are mostly red meat like pork belly, lamb, or roast beef sandwich, so you probably should choose a la carte and stick with the other areas of the menu. I found most of the dishes to be great to excellent, so you shouldn't feel deprived from selection!

                  I hope you have a wonderful meal there!

                  1. re: kobetobiko

                    Thanks kobetobiko. I'm on the East side (it's pretty funny to read about Front Street being a new restaurant row) but walk West frequently for better food. . .Have you been to Dennis Foy? p.s. sweetbread is red (if it swims, clucks or quacks I eat it).

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      Had the croquettes last night, and they contained anchovies (among other ingredients) and were served atop some sort of aioli - really delightful. Also had the poached eggs with asparagus, and we spent a good minute using our spoons to get every last drop of egg yolk out of the bowl. So, so good. Reports on the lamb belly, suckling pig, and roast beef are most likely irrelevant since none of those animals belong to the "swim, cluck or quack," subset!

                      1. re: slcorlis

                        Thanks slcorlis. My mouth is watering already!

              3. Went last night and had a total blast. Food was terrific, very fun atmosphere. We did the 5 course tasting menu and added the croquettes and the sweetbreads. Delicious, unique and a lot of fun.

                1. you've all stolen my thunder. degusation is special! no and the tasting menu is a must!

                  1. Thanks for all your suggestions! We had dinner at Degustation Friday night. The best part about dining early at 6PM on a Friday night was we had the entire place to ourselves! No other diners until our dessert course. The food and service were amazing. We went with a tasting menu and server's suggestions for the various courses (I don't eat red meat). Standouts were the poached egg with asparagus, the seared scallops in mussel mussel broth w/thinly sliced grapes and roasted tomatoes. Mackeral dish with micro arugula was another. Cheese course (compliments of the house) was also one of our favorites. Croquettas of bean/lemon on a parsley aioli were nice. Shrimp/langoustines course was good (not a favorite). Incredible attention to flavors, details (so many I can't even remember everything we had and all the various foams . . .) and consistency. A very special meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      Went to Degustation again last Friday night and had another really good experience. One of us had the tasting menu and one ordered ala carte. The soft shell crabs were delicious. Had the scallops again (a favorite). Dessert had the most delicious, fresh berries (otherwise I'm not a big fan of their dessert, the cheese course is a better choice).

                    2. Degustation-best meal in a long time
                      Started with the mixed mariscos a la plancha-African shrimp, American shrimp and my favorite-cigala. The quail with a red wine reduction and pistachio and fennel was amazing as was the rabbit in crepinette with Japanese yam puree, the suckling pig (incredible), and the ribeye with bone marrow foam. The lamb belly was probably good but by that time I had overdone it. Great Spanish wines by the glass and the incredible service of Jack and Grace. Priceless (and at $100 reasonable). Run, don't walk if you haven't been.