Lily’s send off party was held at Steak Frites Steak Frites, at the new location in Tribeca. I never went to the previous Union Square location, but I heard it was quite popular. I wonder if it was better in the original spot because Lon and I were pretty disappointed in this experience, and others voiced complaints as well.

Our 14 person party reserved the private room which was lined with wine rack cases. I thought it was cool at first but realized how impractical it was as wait staff came in and out to grab wine. Each time, they had to open the glass doors in inadequate space. Lon noticed the instrumental latin music as soon as we sat, but it switched to hip hop, then video game instrumentals, Michael Jackson, and then was shut off when the ultra loud live music (Thurs, Fri, Sat at 9:30PM) began.

Our first taste impression was the cumin flavored mayonnaise. It was just weird as an accompaniment to bread, and I stared at it for a while since it took a long time for the appetizers to come, and half of us were served a good 5-10 minutes before the other half. Lon and I chose a special, Little Neck Clams with Bacon. They were fresh and plump clams with visible chunks of bacon that did not add any flavor. The liquid that we would normally sop up with bread was so salty, we left it alone.

My main course was Pan Seared Scallops with Lobster and Spring Vegetable Risotto. The scallops tasted like nothing. I only ate two out of three, which has never happened before. The risotto was like steam table food, the stuff that sits on a buffet table for hours, with an over-powering taste of asparagus and carrots. You could see the flecks of lobster but could not taste it. My mom would have had a heart attack if she saw how much food I left on my plate.

Lon’s report of his Bouillabaisse was not much better. Most of the seafood was over-cooked until chewy. The familiar flavors of bouillabaisse were not there in the murky brown liquid. Uncharacteristic of Lon, he didn’t finish his dish either.

We had high hopes for the sides. Lon’s eyes widened when he saw Duck Fat Hash Browns and pointed out the Truffle Fries, he knew I would want. The Hash Browns were decent fried potatoes but the duck fat was not evident.

The Truffle Fries came out cold with a hint of truffle and we sent them back. (Others talked about their cold onion rings.) The new plate was freshly fried, nice and hot, but the truffle flavor was gone, making them just a plate of decent fries. Some pieces were crispy, some were soggy.

The focus here seems to be large portions of lovely looking food, in a modern bistro space. If you eat with your eyes, this may be the place for you, but Lon and I will not be back. Flavor is just too important to us.

posted by jessica at 10:56 AM Filed under French, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.