silverblue on Citysearch
11 years ago
02/28/2010, 00:20 AM
A brunch that did not live up to expectations – My highly anticipated brunch experience at L’ecole was underwhelming, to my disappointment. I had high hopes for the establishment, although it must be noted that the $19.50 2-course prix fixe brunch menu is not part of The French Culinary Institute’s curriculum. Students volunteer their time and work under the supervision of professional chefs.
The course started off with the bread basket; an assortment of delicious and freshly baked muffins, gourmet pastries and crackers. I could eat these all day! The bloody Mary was one of the best I’d ever had – fresh and with excellent presentation! However, it was the food that disappointed:
For appetizers, the Steak Tartar with quail egg didn’t taste very fresh and had a darker red color to it. The Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Almond Soup was tasty but a little too creamy and heavy. The Butter Poached Shrimp was the biggest disappointment – it was cold and a little ‘hardened’ for my taste. For entrees, my dining companions had the Croque Madame and the L’Ecole Burger, which were pretty good but the flavorful Duck Confit was probably the best dish for lunch, although no better than the duck at Balthazar. After a slew of yummy brunch cocktails such as the Ruby Blossom and Easy like Sunday Mimosa, we had no room for dessert.
Overall, brunch was just mediocre although we enjoyed sitting at the bar and chatting up the friendly bartender. I would give it a second chance and come back for the 5-course dinner that is prepared by FCI’s students.