Friday, September 17, 2010

Restaurant Review: RN74

Posted on 10.06.10 for 09.17.10

Anniversary dinner #2: RN74. This is the restaurant we specifically planned our trip to the City around. It's a Michael Mina restaurant headed by executive chef Jason Berthold. I was pretty excited about our reservation, this being a celebrity chef restaurant and all, especially since my brother raved about Arcadia. Unfortunately, the food wasn't quite as exciting as the anticipation was. How about I take you through the meal so you can see what I'm talking about? Here we go!

We heard from a police officer in the neighborhood (that's another story for another time) that RN74 was named and themed after a train station in France. If the decor was supposed to look like a train station, they must have some fancy train stations in France. The only station-esque detail I noticed was the wine boards that flipped to show the wines of the evening. You can kind of see them here.

The tables were pretty tight on the side were were on. You can see the entire width of our table here. Not too bad, but if A scooted over six inches or so, he'd be cuddling with the lady sitting next to me. I bumped the guy sitting next to A with my butt as I was exiting the table, and I don't have a booty. At least he was done with his meal. No one wants to get hit by a butt while they're eating.

Apps: I had the escargot, and A had the roasted marrow bones. A really enjoyed the marrow, and he's not much of a marrow fan. Then again, I'm pretty sure he's never eaten marrow with toast and bacon marmalade. :-P

The escargot was interesting; good but not amazing. I'm used to escargot served with lots of butter. The "herb butter" sauce on these was light and delicate--a nice change. I even liked the little pastry top. What I didn't like was the tomato compote. It wasn't overly tomatoey (is that a word?), but I don't think the flavor went well with the rest of the dish. It should be noted that I'm not a fan of tomatoes, though.


I had the Liberty Farm Duck Breast with vegetables a la jardiniere, confit leg, black truffle, red beet bordelaise. The duck breast was good--pink and juicy. The black truffle sauce was delicious, but as I mentioned before, I heart truffles. The fig turned out to be my favorite complement on the plate, and I ended up trying to eat teeny tiny bites of them just so that I could spread it out. The good ends there. The vegetables didn't really taste like much except themselves. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you're looking for, I guess. The biggest travesty, though, was the duck confit. Do you see that taquito looking thing in the picture? Yea, since everything else on the place was accounted for in the description, I'm assuming that the taquito was a duck confit taquito. Someone please tell me that I'm mistaken, because if I'm right, that was a terrible waste of duck confit. The shell was oily, and the meat was dry. Travesty.

A had the Grilled Center Cut Rib-Eye with chanterelle mushrooms, potatoes, wax beans, cauliflower, sauce bearnaise. First of all, can someone tell me what's amiss in the photo below? If you answered that the steak is already cut, you answered correct! A was a little upset by this. I guess they were just going for presentation over juiciness? Well, it can't have been all that bad because I didn't hear any complaints except, "Well, it tastes better with the sauce." On the flip side, I didn't hear any of the, "Oh man, this is SO good" comments that usually accompany A with a good steak (a by-product of not cooking meat in the house, I'm sure).

Dessert: We didn't order it. I can hear the gasps and choking from all those who know me well. I know. I know. I'm sorry to disappoint you. Once in a blue moon, a restaurant has a dessert menu where nothing appeals to me. It's rare, but it happens. In general, it happens because I'm craving something else. This time I think the awesome ice cream we had a Humphry Slocombe earlier that day just made the dessert menu look lame. It's ok, though, because they seemed to have a good selection of cheeses, and I love a good cheese plate almost as much as I love dessert. We went for the Chef's selection cheese plate, and it was yummy. I love cheese. I love it so much, I dug in (no, I didn't wait for A :-P) and forgot to take a picture until we were on the last few pieces. Ooops. Even worse, I don't remember what any of the cheeses were. The waiter did tell us, but I don't think I could hear him over my brain screaming, "cheese! cheese!"

For those who felt scandalized that I didn't order dessert, don't despair. They sent these over with our check.

I don't remember a lot about these...which means they weren't amazing. They were sweet, and dense. I think they tasted like a soft fortune cookie, which is good, but they didn't make me feel sorry for skipping a proper dessert. They were cute, though.

Overall, RN74 was a good restaurant, but it didn't live up to the hype of Michael Mina. It's not terrible, and it had some decent high points; but I don't think I'd come back. Like I told my amazing chef cousin, "It was good. Nothing mind blowing." Or as A said, "It wasn't bad, but I don't feel inspired."

Check out their website HERE, and their Yelp reviews HERE

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Please review Humphry Slocombe. Thanks. =)