Speaking of Salt - L'Auberge Dinner Review 4/1/08
I'm laying in my comfy L'Auberge hotel bed with my husband, parched and rather annoyed at the nearly $175 we just spent on our anniversary dinner at L'Auberge.
Having had a few breakfast here during our stay already, maybe this should have told us we should change our plans. These were average and nothing more. In fact, one of mine was downright mediocre (an apricot prociutto monte cristo which came with a "blueberry compote" however this also was served with an apricot puree the color of something out of a baby's diaper, truly foul looking on the plate).
Dinner started off ok. We were served an amuse bouche of a wild mushroom and truffle "espresso", meant to be drunk from the small cup it was served in. This was very tasty and made us both look forward to our meal.
We both ordered salads. His a rather ordinary local greens, nothing worth relating in detail. Mine was baby beets, goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes and balsamic dressing. Nice, but not worth the $14 they got for this.
Entrees: his a proscuitto wrapped pork loin with potatoes and cauliflower, mine was cinnamon scented duck breast with roasted fennel and gnocchi. $39 and $42 respectively.
I took my first bite and was appalled at the amount of salt I tasted. My husband asked me how my dish was and I told him all I could taste was salt. He, said the same. I tasted NO cinnamon whatsover. The salt totally overwhelmed the dish. Additionally, I believe the gnocchi had a basil sauce on it. Basil? What was the focus of this dish? Cinnamon is a fall spice; basil a summer herb. This was completely mismatched on the palate.
My husband's pork was certainly better than mine, but not by much. Mine was just passable, not bad enough to send back to the kitchen, but certainly no taste thrill. Let alone the cost of it. We are from back East, the NYC area and used to paying high prices for meals so this isn't what the issue was. It was that we felt we were raped by a poor excuse of a dish at exhorbanent prices, at a restaurant which aspires to be something it is not.
We passed on desert. With my one glass of wine (Renwood Zin, Old Vine, 2004, one of my favorites at least) and a glass of Port my husband had (Sandeman 20 year) the bill now was up at $175ish, tip and tax included.
Service, however, was lovely. Nice people, treat you very well. Oh, and nothing wrong with portion sizes as others have mentioned. Just not very good food dear chowhounds, sorry to say.