From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants
THE SCENE. Moneyed Continentals and girl groups out on the town gather at this swanky restaurant in the Hotel Sofitel--with its aubergine walls, raw silk drapes, and abstract art--for updated French classics. In the high-decibel lounge across the lobby, the crowd skews slightly younger than in one of the most serene dining rooms in the city.
WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. Gracious, unflappable service in a space that manages to be of the moment yet also warm and welcoming.
WHAT YOU WON'T. The schizophrenic quality of the cooking--some dishes soar, others belly-flop.
BEST DISHES. Perfectly cooked fresh prawns with lemon confit and buttery white tarbais beans from the foothills of the Pyrenees, a reminder of what shrimp ought to taste like; succulent lobster with the airiest of curry-shot cream sauces, ribbons of zucchini, and pumpkin gnocchi; a dense dark-chocolate mousse cone with praline ice cream; the signature beer brioche with beer ice cream and caramelized pear.