The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Adventures in high dining

Bunny and I found oursevles at La Nouvelle Maison, an upscale eating establishment in downtown Boca Raton. I'm not sure why she picked the place—perhaps because our previous upscale dining establishment, Root Italian Kitchen is no longer open. Or perhaps it's “just because.”

In any case, we had a reservation for 8:00 pm. I made it yesterday, as Bunny was running about Chez Boca worrying about the dress code (turns out—“business casual” so I don't have to don my International Man of Mystery clothes). I received a text notification a few hours later, and a phone call today, asking to confirm our time.

We arrived at 8:00 pm after a slight detour through the valet parking lot of Trattoria Romana next door (the driving directions from Mr. Google were slightly unclear on that). We walked right in, stated our reservation name and time, and were immedately seated in the quite crowded restaurant. I found that quite surprising, given how busy it all looked.

One thing about high dining that I don't think I'll get used too—the level of attention to detail. I think our waiter only had three or four other tables to wait on, and when he wasn't busy, he was standing nearby, waiting at attention. And if we was busy, his assistant (Assistant!) was nearby waiting to serve us.

And boy, did we get served. A cheese platter of assertive goat, a more assertive bleu and a brie that gave butter a run for its money. We decided not to get any caviar, but we did get a Soupe à L’Oignon gratinee for me and Pâté de Foie Gras for Bunny. Those were followed by a Petite Laitue Roquefort for me, and a Salade de Betterave for Bunny.

And then the entrees. I ordered the Risotto de Saint-Jacques à la truffe et aux épinards while Bunny had the Côte de veau aux Champignons Forresterie. I think the most amazing thing about Bunny's dinner was the gratin potatoes. Our waiter explained how they were made—the potatoes were sliced paper thin (thin enough to see through) and then layered with gruyere cheese, pressed down with a brick for over 24 hours in the refriderator, then baked and just before serving, deep fried for about a minute. It was perfect cube of potato and cheese about 3″ (7.5cm) per side, made up of easily a hundred layers.

Desert was a chocolate soufflé. That was my first soufflé, and also my last. I'm not saying it was bad—it wasn't by any stretch of the imagination—it was delicious! But my issue with the soufflé was one of texture. I'm sensitive to some … textures … that some foods have, and this one triggered that sensitivity. The only reason I ate more than one spoonfull was just down to how good it was, and I was able to bull through my textural revulsions. In all my times eating at find dining establishments, I've found that even if I don't like a particular item, it will be the best particular item I've ever had.

Was everything we had good? It's French! Of course it was good. All of it. The service was incredible, and our only real complaint of the night was the noise level when we first arrived—it was a bit too high for our liking. And the price was about what we expected—it's the “once a year” level of price.

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