Tocqueville - nope! no good!
Went with a date on saturday - valentine's - night. $95pp for the 3-course; I chose the veal appetizer (horrid, flavorless strips with vinegarette-soaked veggies) and the scallops with truffle (tiny portion of boringly pan-seared scallops garnished admittedly well). My desert was a forgettable brownie something-or-other where all the ice cream scoops had melted. No one cares about serving dessert properly here (not a surprise, based on the service otherwise).
My date had the ginger soup to start. It was truly fantastic. Then she had the sirloin, and it was fine. It really isn't hard to do beef. It was a duo with pulled short ribs. Again, not hard to pull short ribs and make a cute little cube. She enjoyed it, and for that I was thankful. Her dessert i've already forgotten.
The cocktail menu was limited. We had 4 between us and we would order none a second time.
The food I would give a C+ overall. Service a C-. Taking price into account, this place earns an F overall.
I am truly, truly frustrated that I "fell for it" with regard to this place. Can I blame the internet? Just myself?
HOW did this place slip into the "top shelf" of nyc eateries, according to most reviews? Why is it in or near the category of places that offer magic for the same prices? Where is the distinguishing mark that helps a potential customer see that this is merely overpriced mediocre dining, rather than a place that offers what they charge? For $95pp, there ought to be SERVICE. We were pointed to a table, pulled it out ourselves, had menus thrust at us, had all plates handed to the wrong person or simply slapped down on the table, and did I mention the food? It was done with smiles and cheer, I confess, but this is NOT mcdonald's! I eat out for quality, not for cold efficiency or to break any time trials!
For the same money, I could have gone to Bouley. Which I mention only because that's where I went on Sunday, and it was a perfect delight.