Thursday, June 10

New York 2010 - L'Ecole NYC - CLOSED

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Now that we've finished our drinks and appetizers, let's proceed to the main course. For our main course, we're going to a 3 course lunch at L'ecole - The Restaurant of the French Culinary Institute. Food prepared by student chefs of the school. Bobby Flay was a student here. I say this because I just had a romantic dream about him last night. tee hee! P.S. I'm going to write alot for this entry because the meal cost alot and it deserves an adequate length in the spotlight.
 L'grand exterior on Broadway. Marbled exterior buildings are what I think of when I picture New York. I picture Wall Street and Broadway and the financial district and people with suits walking around. That's exactly what I saw, except sometimes there were women with fancy suits wearing flip flops because understandably, New York requires alot of walking.
 L'table decoration

L'free mini taco appetizer. Don't let the zoom fool you, this was about as big as my palm. Folded up, this taco could probably fit into the circular opening of a taquito. I took one of those clothespins home for a souvenier. As for taste, I remember this being rather plain, maybe because there's not enough meat to really create taste.

L'FCI champagne cocktail (Duc de Romet Brut Champagne NV and St. Germain). I looked up St. Germain and it is a liquer made from elderflower. I'm not sure what the sugary, fizzy tablet at the bottom of my drink is then if St. Germain is a liquid, but the cocktail was extremely delicious. A fine champagne with a fizzy sweet treat.

 L'appetizer of tuna tartare (red cube on the left), pickled daikon (yellow thing in the middle), and smoked sea urchin cream (I don't know which cream that is or maybe it's both sauces). This was my appetizer and it was really good. Tastes alot like fresh, diced tuna sashimi. I ordered this because I've been watching too much Food Network and everyone says tartare this and tartare that, I just had to see what it's about. Turns out its just cut up meat put back into a mold. I kidd I'm sure it's more complex but that's the basics of it to me.

L'other appetizer of Country Pate with Foie Gras and Truffles. Sir Philsalot loved the Pate and Foie Gras but I was not as enthused. I really like pate put into Vietnamese banh mi but this is totally different. Plus, I couldn't help but think of the poor geese and how foie gras is made. To me, the pate tasted plain and the texture wasn't creamy like pate I'm used to. However, I do admit that it goes better with all the pickled sides. Mini Gerkin pickles, mustard seed mix, and some sort of salad with shoots on the bottom right. That salad thing was awesome and I ended up stealing the whole pile to eat with my tartare.

L'entree of striped bass. Working from top to bottom: the wild mushrooms are excellent, the bass was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin,  the scallion pancake at the bottom was good too but Korean seafood pancake still beats it. Those things that look like watermelon balls are actually radishes and they were yummy too. Overall I liked this dish but I'm realizing that I'm not a fan of fish made in a non-Asian way. I like my fish fried with fish sauce and pickled daikon on the side. Or made like the Chinese style sea bass you find at weddings.

L' rack of lamb with artichoke and goat cheese sauce. Phil thought this was pretty good. The lamb looks like it was cooked just right. Pink in the middle. Personally, I really dug the artichokes which were braised I think. Those little mushrooms on the side had a burst of vinegar so I think they were marinated mushrooms, a little too sour for me but pretty interesting.

L'strawberry tart dessert that Phil says looks like the tart took a shit and skid across the plate. Anyhoos, the tart was not wonderful. I expected sweet ripe strawberries on some sort of sweet custard in a tart shell. The strawberries were a little tart, pun intended, and kind of sour. I should have known though as this wasn't named a tart for nothing. The shell and filling were unimpressive. But the ice cream on top was very delicious. That ice cream better be house made or else this dessert wins nothing.

L'potato fritters with ice cream. Those fritters were like deep fried churro balls. I had so much food envy. Everything about this dessert was good. Fluffy soft churro balls with cinnamon sugar coating with the same kind of ice cream that was on my strawberry tart. yummsss I miss this.

L'complimentary dessert cookies. Star cookies, too hard. Chocolate chip, ok. Green ball of something, pretty damn good actually. The appearance threw me off at first but that tasted good. Everything else, I didn't really try.

I think this is by far the fanciest meal I've had, fancier than Park Place but that's a retro review for another day. The food alltogether was mostly a hit, some misses. Most of it was good (champagne cocktail, tuna tartare, potato fritters, and arguably the foie gras pate if you're Phil). Some of it was not as great (strawberry tart, weird cookies, and some of the sauces). The pre fixe menu was $28 per person, 3 courses each. Pretty good deal. I would recommend L'Ecole to anyone, considering they aren't used to the fine dining experience but if you're like me and you're not used to frilly meals and being waited on hand and foot, then L'Ecole is a good bargain for this kind of treatment on a doable budget. Well I guess this was also lunch so maybe that's why it's affordable but I was full from our food.
L'good bye for now!


  1. hi N, fun to read your nyc reviews. love the watermelon soju and we had the same thought about pizzacone. nice about fci, i have friends who just graduated from there! and what's up w/that bobby flay dream? ;-)...

  2. Hi Jen. I keep getting hungry everytime I update my blog. Such good memories of NY food. and about the dream, it's nothing juicy. Just dreamt that I ran into Bobby Flay somewhere and he chivalrously walked me home. I must be watching too much Iron Chef lately.



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