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Deuxave or Troquet?

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pollystyrene Jun 15, 2013 01:28 PM

Any preference? Which would you give the nod to on food, service and ambience?

I was leaning toward Troquet for its reported wine and cheese strengths, but the overall experience is more important, and at least in online photos, the Troquet room looks plain.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

  1. p
    pollystyrene Aug 21, 2013 08:43 PM

    Just wanted to report back that we chose Troquet, and were very pleased. The room was warmer than it looked in the photos. (I do recommend that if you're at a banquette, the taller people sit against the wall and the shorter people in the chairs; otherwise, the shorter folk will appear to need a phone book.)

    The service was a little weird at first. I knew I'd be getting the pasta w/mushrooms, and when I mentioned to the server that I'm a vegetarian, he mistakenly pointed to the duck on the menu. I jokingly said we all know that duck is vegetarian and there was no need to point it out. My DC said that as he walked away he rolled his eyes. It seems we won him over as the night progressed, though, and he was informative, efficient, and loosened up some. As an added bonus, he sounds EXACTLY like John Malkovich.

    Food & Drink: I started ass-backwards with the cheese. I had five (Chevrot, Cantal, two fresh goats and another), and all but the one I can't remember were delicious, and that was probably just personal taste. They were at perfect temperature, and the server didn't get pedantic or try to foist anything on me I didn't want. The accompaniments could have been better--just some green apple and quince paste. It didn't occur to me that at a French restaurant all the cheeses would be French, but that's not a complaint!

    With the cheese, I had my own little champagne tasting: generous 2 oz pours of Schramsberg 2009 Blanc de Blanc, Veuve, and Ruinart rose. Again, at perfect temperature. It was fun tasting different cheeses with each of the champagnes.

    The pasta had the satisfying, dense chew that only fresh pasta can. My only complaint was that it was heavy on salt. Not so much that it prevented me from finishing it, though.

    I thought I might be disappointed by the cliched chocolate souffle for dessert, but the server said he preferred it to the other things I was considering, and I'm glad I listened. He poured a warm malt anglaise into the center of the souffle, creating a rich, molten center, which combined with the crunchy-chewy top and vanilla ice cream to concoct a near-perfect chocolate dessert.

    Thanks for all your input. I'd still like to try Deuxave, but I'd happily go back to Troquet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pollystyrene
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      cambridgedoctpr Aug 22, 2013 11:30 AM

      but the real question when dealing with Troquet is what did you drink? Which Champagne was best and why not order something else? That is the real value of this restaurant.

      1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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        pollystyrene Aug 22, 2013 12:52 PM

        As someone who prefers cocktails to wine, the value for me wasn't to order a lot of wine, but to be able to get 3 small pours at once for comparison. That, the cheese, and the overall experience made it worthwhile. I preferred the Veuve over the others, but since it's widely available and we were headed to the Hawthorne after, I didn't order more.

        My DC is more of a wine lover, and had the Veuve with her oysters. The suggested pairings with her entree were Rieslings, which she finds too sweet. They offered her a taste just to be sure, she confirmed it, and they suggested something else, which she liked well enough. So it wasn't a big winefest for us, but we enjoyed it anyway.

        1. re: pollystyrene
          c
          cambridgedoctpr Aug 22, 2013 01:16 PM

          chacune son gout, but the real value of troquet is in its wine list rather than in its good but not outstanding food IMHO. there are dry rielsings as well as "wet" ones.

          Being a cheap crumugeon, i prefer to buy cheese to eat at home WF or Formaggio. I think that i can do just as well as any restaurant in Boston.

    2. s
      ScotchandSirloin Jun 16, 2013 09:54 AM

      Mistral?

      3 Replies
      1. re: ScotchandSirloin
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        pollystyrene Jun 16, 2013 01:13 PM

        I considered Mistral, but I believe it's owned by the same group as Moo, and I really, really don't like Moo due to the bad food and incompetent service I had the one time I went. (Full disclosure: I'm a vegetarian.)

        I think Teatro is pretty good, but they both have a kind of inauthentic, poseur feel to me, so I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) it would be the same at Mistral.

        1. re: pollystyrene
          C. Hamster Jun 16, 2013 03:03 PM

          I think Mistral is way better than Moo.

          I haven't been in probably 18 months but No. 9 Park had it going on still.

          If cheese (my favorite food) is a priority, then Troquet is a good if pricey choice.

          But if you are wise about cheese don't let them bully you.

          I am a huge dBar fan so I am looking forward to trying Deu

          1. re: C. Hamster
            CocoDan Jun 17, 2013 06:07 AM

            Hampster, I'm sure you'll like Deuxave. We too really like dbar who always have interesting and tasty specials. Deuxave is a coulple of steps up from dbar. Go! And report back.
            Enjoy,
            CocoDan

      2. ChinaCat Jun 16, 2013 07:25 AM

        I've eaten at both fairly recently (in the last 2 months). I hadn't realized that the chef at Deux Ave worked at Trouquet, but there was a definite similarity in the menus. I really enjoyed both.

        At Trouquet we were given one of the best tables, a 4 top at the end of the room by the windows, far from the stairs. It was quite nice. Our waiter was good, and helpful. We had a lovely meal, though I agree with others it was pricey (of course, the glass of chateau d'yquem I had with the fois gras probably explains a lot of that :) )

        we also had a window table at Deux Ave, looking out at the blooming trees on Comm Ave, and the Pru at sunset. The service was particularly exemplary, and I;d say the food was equally good.

        I have a hard time distinguishing between the 2. I guess for ambiance I would give a slight edge to Deux Ave, for wine Trouquet. For service and food, I liked both.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChinaCat
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          pollystyrene Jun 16, 2013 01:07 PM

          Thanks for the side-by-side comparison, ChinaCat. Just what I was looking for. I hadn't realized the Deuxave chef had been at Troquet. Maybe the reason they both appeal to me for this occasion is that they're so similar, both sort of nouvelle French at the same price point.

        2. opinionatedchef Jun 16, 2013 12:35 AM

          i've been wanting to eat at Deuxave for a long time. Very interesting menu. photos look chic. review wise, it always seems to trump troquet.

          1. c
            cambridgedoctpr Jun 15, 2013 01:41 PM

            i think that understanding Troquet is simple. It is an elegant restaurant with good but not great food with a fantastic wine list that is priced so well that even collectors will be happy to pay the toll. The service is fine, and the cheese plates are excellent.

            If you are passionate about wine, then Troquet is the place for you, If not, there are lots of other good choices with more interesting food in my humble opinion.

            6 Replies
            1. re: cambridgedoctpr
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              pollystyrene Jun 15, 2013 01:48 PM

              Thanks for the input. I'm glad to hear you find it elegant. We like wine but aren't oenophiles, so please let me know if there are other places with a gracious room that have better food and/or service than Troquet, but are not quite as expensive as L'Espalier.

              1. re: pollystyrene
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                cambridgedoctpr Jun 15, 2013 02:10 PM

                sure, you can try craigie, strip ts - though it is not elegant, perhaps Erblauce, Toro or Coppa. There are many choices

                1. re: pollystyrene
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                  Scruffy The Cat Jun 15, 2013 02:12 PM

                  I think I must be the only one who finds Troquet a pretty meh experience. We went for an anniversary last year. First they sat us at the top of the stairs and next to the kitchen- it was essentially a hallway with kind of nothing to recommend it. Given that it was an anniversary and a bit special, we asked to move and they were friendly about it. That being said, the rest of the dining room struck me as a bit too bright and a bit too loud room, sort of cafeteria-like in atmosphere, with tables so close to each other we ended up having conversations to those to our right and left. We had the tasting menu and the food was ok, but a little clumsy in execution. Service was friendly and attentive but crossed the line a few times into too in-your-face-friendly and we did have lovely wine pairings but I think our dinner was in the $400 range. (I am not remembering correctly, only thinking it was really pricey.) Yes, we had the tasting menu but still- for that amount of money I want a much more polished experience. The Yelp reviews quoted on their online menu are really cheesy but I have to say that's really what my whole experience was like- sort of what "fine dining" might seem like to Joe-Yelp-poster might be looking for.

                  1. re: Scruffy The Cat
                    C. Hamster Jun 15, 2013 03:53 PM

                    I like Troquet.

                    But the first time I ate there, our waiter acted like he'd invented cheese and -- seriously- barred us from making specific cheese choices. A discussion with the manager ensued

                    Been a few times after and it's been good. Though probably not worth the $$$$

                    1. re: C. Hamster
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                      Scruffy The Cat Jun 15, 2013 04:11 PM

                      I think I'd happily go again if it wasn't 1) a special occasion and 2) $$$$. I sort of feel like it's a $125ish-for-2 quality restaurant (maybe except for the wine). I'd probably thoroughly enjoy myself at that price point. But if I'm spending that kind of money, there are other much better places in the city.

                      1. re: C. Hamster
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                        Gabatta Jun 15, 2013 06:01 PM

                        "acted like he'd invented cheese"...ROFL

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