By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Time waxes and wanes on our second lunchtime visit. We're offered a personal apology from chef Soyez when it takes our table of three nearly 90 minutes to receive an omelet, an open-faced steak sandwich and a bowl of linguine with spicy shrimp. "Things in the kitchen today... echh!" he says, throwing up his hands in that French way. Fryer problems, he says. And what was that constant hammering we've been hearing? Just one of the cooks pounding veal to smithereens.
Everything we eat is so good we forgive the shortcomings. No polenta as promised with the Maryland crabcakes? That's all right, there's an abundance of crab in the cakes and please tell us what's in the smoky sauce underneath. Soy sauce, fresh ketchup, honey. To quote the no-necked cooking lady on daytime TV: Yum-O.
Time stands still again over dessert. The tarte tatin is as big as a dinner plate, slim slices of apple layered over puff pastry so light it almost floats away. And then comes the piece to which we have no resistance, the melted Valrhona chocolate cake. The fist-sized mound of flourless cake rests on a fluffy white sauce swirled at the edges with paisleys of raspberry coulis. Forking up his first mouthful, my friend slaps the table hard with his other hand. His face goes red and tiny beads of sweat appear on his forehead. "This always happens when I eat something this rich," he explains.
Country pâté $10
Mussels soup $6
Trout amandine $15
Lemon sole meuniere $15
Melted Valrhona chocolate cake $6.95
Cherries jubilee (for 2) $23.90
My other pal and I reach over the table to try it. Dark melted chocolate oozes from a tunnel inside the cake. It's warm and satiny, spiked with just enough bourbon to gently burn the back of the tongue. I shudder head to toe in a full-on foodgasm.
"How many ways is this stuff wonderful?" I ask my perspiring friend.
"Eleven," he says, licking chocolate from his lips.
The waiter suddenly stands between us. "Are you OK? Is everything all right?" he asks, looking worried.
Oh, we're good, garçon. We're happy. We're high. Je t'aime, flourless melted Valrhona chocolate bourbon cake. Adieu, tristesse.
5934 Royal Lane, 214-987-4900. Open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $$$