Just like my 0-7 Fantasy Baseball team. Thats 0 as in zero, and 7 loses during the first 7 weeks of the season. In a league that I created and won the most championships, this is very unfamiliar territory to me. Injuries, luck has something to do with it, and maybe just maybe thats what happened at super hot Frenchette the other day. A minor Citibike accident on the way to work by one of the cooks, and/or bad choices on my part. Who really knows.
But what I do know is that Frecnhette did not live up to the hype it is receiving at the moment. Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson (Balthazar, Minetta Tavern) first solo project is the hottest and most anticipated opening of the year. I learned a long time ago that expectations need to be in check when you go to such places. But being a fan of Minetta Tavern and everything I’ve read prior promised a slam dunk birthday meal.
Hard to judge a place after just one meal. Especially a place that is less than two months old. Professional critics will take their time and make multiple visits, while others like TimeOut seem perfectly content with 3 dishes. I had plenty of thrilling meals (Bombay Bread Bar, Faro), and less than thrilling meals (Legacy Records) as of late, but more data is needed before I write about the others. Although after a recent Adam Pratt review of Legacy I wont be rushing back either
The place looks like a classic Brasserie. The service was friendly but showing its very young age. It took some time to get plates on a few occasions, and getting that welcome bread at the end of the meal led to some comic relief. No harm done of course, but I did wish for that wonderful Arcade Bakery bread to come warm
The Guinea Hen Terrine shined early on. The Razor Clams not so much. They were fully cooked and served with crunchy fried crumbs of something that totally overpowered the clams. I’ve seen this combination work as a cold crudo wiith less crumbs but this is not Italian. Brouillade, scrambled eggs with escargot was one of the most interesting dishes. It takes 20 minutes of mostly nonstop stirring the butter and egg to the consistency of soupy polenta (grits). Its delicate and delicious alright, but the egg lover in me was wishing for it to resemble what it promises, scrambled eggs.
The lobster was your average lobster according the lobster critic at the table (I concurred). The roast chicken for two was very good but just not different or special enough. The chicken was well cooked and the accompanied Jus helped. But when the best part of the dish is the potato puree with Maitake side you wonder if you paid fair price ($64). However the Stewed Rabbit was probably the biggest dud. Served with morels (best part) and Pappardelle like pasta with light cream sauce. The meat was mostly dry and tasteless and we just couldnt get passed the Alfredoish look and feel. I was intrigued by the $88 Turbot, but we are off to Turbot country soon (Getaria, Spain) so I passed. We did like both of the desserts on the menu.
241 W Broadway, TriBeCa
Rating: One Z (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Terrine, Brouillade, Chicken, Desserts