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Nov 12, 2008 09:00 AM

Fleur De Sel or A Voce for X-Mas Eve Dinner?

I know that completely different types of cuisine are offered, but in terms of an over-all dining experience, which would you prefer? I haven't been to either and our options for restaurants is minimized due to the holiday. A Voce is a restaurant that has been on my radar so I'm leaning more that way. Anyone ever been to either for X-Mas Eve or another holidaty meal? All comments and thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Though we've not been to either for a holiday meal, Fleur de Sel is one of our favs, and we've been there countless times for lunch and dinner. We've been to A Voce once shortly after it opened. Carmellini is now gone, and I haven't heard much about the quality of the food the new chef is putting out. So, that might factor into your decision.

    Then there is the issue of what kind of ambiance you prefer. I've mentioned this many times before on this board, but the reason we never went back to A Voce despite liking Carmellini's food was the insanely high noise level. I find that kind of noise to be a physical assault, to say nothing of not being able to carry on a civilized conversation.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thank's for the post! I read that Fleur de Sel can be bit stuffy with an older clientele. Not that it really matters as long as the food is great, but my fiance and I will be having X-Mas Eve dinner at a restaurant since our families live out of state and we would like to celebrate in some way. But we will be alone so a little more "lively" atmosphere might be better. Does Fleur de Sel fit the bill? I'd rather not dine in a place that's all hush/hush and overly formal. Thanks.

      1. re: ChowDiva

        From our many experiences at Fleur de Sel, I can say that it gets a mixed clientele. It's not just a place for "old folks." A few months ago, when we were there for dinner, there was a group of 20 people whose ages I'd guess were late 20's/early 30's.

        It is very far from being overly formal. There is no dress code, and on any given evening, there can be a wide range of dress from jackets and ties to jeans and sweaters.

        The atmosphere is definitely not hush-hush. There can be the occasional somewhat noisy table -- oddly, that large group of 20 was not rambunctious as I thought they might be -- but overall, the noise level is of the Goldilocks variety: not too quiet, not too loud, but just right. Essentially, it's the pleasant hum of diners enjoying delicious food and good conversation.

        I'm sure there will be appropriate holiday decorations which will give the cozy dining room a festive feel.

    2. I wouldn't describe Fleur de Sel as lively, but I also don't consider it stuffy or overly formal. It is a cozy, relaxing restaurant that works well for an intimate night out. The food and service were very good (I think the tasting menu is also a good value for what you get compared to other restaurants) and the wine list is lengthy. I've never been to A Voce so I cannot offer a comparison. If you are really looking for a more jovial atmosphere on Christmas Eve, Fleur de Sel may not be the right place, but if you want a quiet romantic night with excellent food it is a good choice.

      3 Replies
      1. re: michaelstl

        I'd agree on Fleur de Sel being a good spot for a good holiday dinner. I did it last year, perhaps a day before xmas eve, but had a great time. We got the full tasting, and wound up with a bunch of extra courses as well. By the end of the night, it was us, one server and the kitchen there, and they kept sending plates. Very enjoyable meal, and good wine pairings with all our dishes. We each received different dishes each round, and switched, and the wines were paired to each individual dish. I can't recommend it enough. It is a little quieter, and I'd aim for a corner table, or one on the back or side wall near the door, but I can't wait to go back.

        1. re: michaelstl

          I agree with michaelstl's description of Fleur de Sel. It's reserved but not in a stuffy or overly formal way.

          1. re: a_and_w

            Mostly everyone's opinions seem to lean toward Fleur. I wanted to make a reservation either today or tomorrow. Anyone for A Voce?