I was invited to a tasting, to review a charming French bistro called Sel et Poivre, located at 853 Lexington Avenue (between 64th & 65th Streets). I was excited, because I am always looking for great Pate and succulent Duck. The restaurant is intimate and the owner /chef Christian Schienle prepares his dishes with a delicate and subtle flair.
When I got there the menu was chosen for us and I tried to back out, as most of the dishes contained foods I do not eat. I have never been a fish eater and I am not adventurous in my palate. My friend Sarah is the complete opposite. She has the most daring palate, I have ever seen. I was convinced to stay and taste the unusual fare, to which I agreed. You see Sel et Poivre now has a new game menu and as a rule I do not eat anything that is in the movie Bambi. I think I should also add to that animals in “Home, Home on the Range.”
All kidding aside the first dish was a Grilled Venison paired with a Wild Boar Sausage ($15.95). Wild Boar is actually very good, almost like a lighter steak. The game comes from Texas and is organic and grass feed. Now that’s a plus. The Venison was done with Jalapeno and it was a little too spicy for my tastes. The dish is served with a puree of potato, which was excellent. I paired this with a wonderful glass of Shiraz, which I highly recommend.
Paired with the game was the classic Escargot ($8.95), which the table ranted and raved about.
A Red Pepper Bisque ($6.95) followed, which was delightful, fresh and a sure fire winner. For most of us at the table this was one of our favorite dishes.
For entrée’s a dish I did not see on the game or regular menu, Cod Fish with creamy Lentils. The Cod was moist, buttery and flaky, while the lentils were in a mustardy beurre blanc sauce that was heavenly. Though I am not a fish fan this was tasty and well done.
Oven-roasted Stuffed Quail With goat cheese, in a port wine reduction, with sweet potato puree and wild rice ($28.95) was paired with the fish and though the table loved it, I am not a fan, but this might be because I do not like goat cheese nor it seems Quail. I like the sweet potato puree.
A fabulous Crème Brulee ($9.25) saved my night, as this was the best Crème Brulee I have ever had. An Apricot Crepe with Vanilla Ice Cream ended the meal.
Sel et Poivre has an attentive staff, a delightful owner/chef, gorgeously plated dishes that are artistic and pleasing and subtle sauces that are refreshing. Normally when I review a restaurant I choose dishes that are indicative of the establishment such as Pate, Leg of Lamb, Duck, Steak au Poivre and even Calves Liver. I am sure those dishes are excellent but it is next to impossible to review, what you have not tasted. I would however love to revisit and check out the typical fare until then I am on the bench.
Sel et Poivre: 853 Lexington Avenue (between 64th & 65th Streets)
Prix Fix Brunch: $18.95
Prix Fix Lunch: $21.95
3-Course Prix Fixe Dinner Menu: $30.95