Table du Lancaster (Paris) – A Better Troisgros?
(Note: This is a lost review from my September 2006 trip.)
One can’t eat 3-star meals all the time in Paris. My Troisgros meal in May was a big disappointment so I thought I would re-try the watered-down version of their cuisine at Table du Lancaster (at discounted prices, of course.) Michel Troisgros consults here so the menu reflects the citrus and acidic inspirations of their Roanne restaurant. Some reports say yay; others nay.
1. White Mushroom Cream w/ Sorreno Ham
Tasty but lacking any impact – the ingredients blend together like black on black. Ok.
2. Sardines w/ Caviar
The sardines were not super fresh – they were slightly watery and mushy in texture. The caviar did not provide any oomph and, thus, failed to save the dish. It was slightly pathetic, the two just sitting on a plate. Ok.
3. Steamed Veggies w/ Apple Dressing Foam
A medley of cauliflower, snap peas, carrots, marinated chantelle mushrooms, squash, celery, green onions, and broccoli. The vegetables were of a higher quality though nowhere near the brilliance of Michel Bras. However, the dish was surprisingly good – nice and bright – with the dressing’s tartness providing a nice, satisfying pucker. Very Good.
4. Frog Legs w/ Tamarind & Cauliflower
My Troisgros version of this dish, a signature, was a *disaster.* Its greasy tempura and overpowering tamarind reminded one of their go-to hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant. The Lancaster version was what it should have been – delicately fried with a very nice lemon bite that straddled the edge. Very Good.
5. Codfish w/ Koshi rice
A dish that did nothing to change my typical French fish experience – not the freshest and overcooked. Ok.
6. Milk-fed Pork Sweet & Sour
Odd-shaped cut that was extremely tender. Quite full so this didn’t taste as good as it probably was. Good.
Didn’t take notes – nothing outstanding – a small plate of just 3 cheeses.
8. Chocolate/Mint Ice Cream w/ Mint/Chocolate Cake + Fava Bean
Notes say “textural marvel when eaten together”. Very Good.
9. Cheese Sorbet
Lemony & tangy upfront, acidic through middle, and a smooth cheese/creamy finish complemented by rose. Very Good.
Not the best of meals but a perfectly fine meal if you lived in Paris. I really like the acidic components and I found them to be “just right” when used in this meal (apple foam dressing, lemon frog legs, cheese sorbet.) This balance was what I expected at Troisgros proper a few months earlier. It gives me enough hope to try Troisgros again – so, in a sense, mission accomplished.
Would i return? Probably not. There are potentially better meals available for the limited time I have in a Paris trip. The meal was fairly consistent with some high notes but it lacked refinement. Nonetheless, you might as well try it if you’ll be in Paris for awhile (or just want a sub-$150 euro dinner.)