Lunch at Fleur de Sel or Tocqueville?? Or both?
I have long been interested in having lunch at one or the other of these restaurants. Now I have the time to do it. I'd be interested in hearing from people who have been to both of them. How would you compare the rooms, the ambience, the cuisine, the whole experience? Do you have a strong preference for one or the other?
Fleur de Sel is one of our faves, so we have had countless lunches (and dinners) there. The contemporary French cuisine is superb, there's an excellent wine list, service is professional, and the small, cozy space space has lovely decor.
Tocqueville tends to travel under the culinary radar, and I've always felt it doesn't receive the notice and praise that it deserves. Even we sometimes forget about it when we are thinking of where to have lunch (or dinner). And whenever we have been there, the experience has been excellent. The cuisine, which is French/New American, is well-prepared and delicious. I think service is not quite as polished as at Fleur de Sel, but the staff makes up for it by being less reserved, i.e., friendlier. The dining room is not very large, but the extremely high ceiling makes it feel spacious, and the understated elegant decor provides a posh feel. I don't particularly like the arrangement of the banquettes, so when possible, I prefer to be seated at one of the free-standing tables.
You can't go wrong by choosing either. But if you can swing both, I say, "Go for it!"
Enjoy and Bon Appetit!