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Chefs Table

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  • RayP Apr 15, 2010 06:29 PM
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Anyone been lately?

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  1. I enquired about this place myself a few weeks ago and also got no response. If you go I'd love to hear your take.

    1. For those of us who don't know, it might help to know where this is!

      1. It's in Franklin Lakes, old-school French, very diner-esque decor, and mediocre dining at best.

        2 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          Went for the first time in Oct. We split the herb crusted puff pastry wrapped lamb chop for two. Excellent dish would definetly go back for that. Apps were good (escargot) but forgot what my wife had. Underwhelmed by the creme brulee which is usually a favorite dessert of mine. As for the decor it's a small storefront in a strip mall but decorated nicely inside. Not at all like a diner-esque to me. Similar to many area BYO's. I plan on going back to try other dishes or get the lamb again but not the kind of place I would bring my two year old so I don't get many opportunities to go.

          1. re: The Dabbler

            Love the lamb and the cassoulet. Decor is kind of fun - very personal and far more charming than a diner (which it doesn't in the least resemble).

        2. Was just there recently and had an excellent meal. While the decor is a bit old-school the food is very good. While there are many traditional items on the menu, I would say that they have been modernized and updated. For appetizers I had a goat cheese salad, my husband had the escargot. For dinner I had the crispy duck, and my husband had the cassoulet. Everything was excellent. I would note that it is difficult to get into on a Saturday night and you have to call 3 to 4 weeks in advance.

          1. It's nice to see that Claude Baills has such staunch defenders. But this somehow sounds like the same discussion that the defenders of the chains, PF Changs, Olive Garden, Houstons, et al partake in here. One bad word about these places and you will get 15 defenders.

            Believe me, I'm a devout Francophile and would love to sing praises for Claude, he's from a town I love right on the Mediterranean, Colliure, right near the Spanish border, along with his lovely wife Dolores who waits tables.

            But the place is a bit tired, the food's OK but unimaginative, he cooks mostly the stuff from his days 30 years ago at Lutece. And the decor is hardly better than a nice diner.

            But looks like business is good, so, bon chance, Claude!

            1 Reply
            1. re: menton1

              Sometimes old school "unimaginative" cooking done well is just what I'm looking for; sometimes it's not. A good cassoulet doesn't need foams or sous vide confit or a verticalized deconstructed presentation (which is increasinly old school itself) to be good. YMMV, I suppose, and you must know some unusually decorated diners.

              Incidentally, I don't see why you think your negative opinion should somehow be privileged to stand alone; isn't one of the foundational purposes of CH to present a variety of opinions? Or are you thinking that we should just shrug our shoulders and say "Well, menton1 doesn't like it, so what more is there to say?"

              Please note that a criticism of just about any restaurant - Nicholas, say, or Babbo - will often draw the same level of response from "staunch defenders". What chains have to with it is beyond me, and makes your post sound defensively snarky, which I'm sure was not your intent.

            2. We've been there about three times in the last three years and we like it. It is an odd space in that it is in a strip mall, the decor is not cutting edge and I guess you can say the menu is old school and not avant garde. But the food is good, high quality and well-prepared. We'd be perfectly happy to go.