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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Plein to See

Last night was Restaurant Week meal #3 and it seems they just keep getting better.  Plein Sud has received good reviews but managed to fly under the radar.  However, no restaurant is safe from my taste buds so Podz and I headed to Tribeca for some French fare.

If you're an avid Top Chef watcher, you may know that Ed Cotton, who made it to the final three in the DC season, is the chef at Plein Sud.  That may be reason enough for you to check it out, but I need to know the food is going to hold its own - regardless of who is standing over the stove.  Tribeca is not the kind of neighborhood where a restaurant can survive if they are just riding on the coattails of reality tv fame - people just won't travel down there if it's not good.  I am happy to report that you will not be disappointed if you go all the way down to Tribeca for Plein Sud.

The decor was my kinda style.  It was like a fancy farmhouse with knick-knacks set behind mesh wire cabinet doors and a bathroom that fit right into a barn, but in a clean way.  The food was also my kinda style.  I don't like when restaurants put second rate food on the Restaurant Week menu, but I didn't really see that happening here.

The appetizer was probably my favorite course.  Podz got a caramelized onion tart with boucheron cheese (sweet and flaky) and I had an amazing chilled fennel soup.  I know that doesn't sound special but the chantilly cream, pistachios, and poached shrimp really made this soup stand out.  For the entrees, Podz ordered stuffed eggplant and I had the seafood bisque en croute.  The soup was very good with a wonderful mix of fish, but the waiter described it as less creamy than it was.  I usually never have a problem with cream - and they weren't heavy handed - but I had just had a cream soup for the app and two of those in a row gets heavy.  Nevertheless, it was very good.  Sarah picked the Tribeca for dessert, which was caramel on top of peanut butter cream on top of a chocolate crust.  It was like a chilled, creamy peanut butter cup.  One bite was rich enough for me and then I went back to my dessert.  I'll admit, none of the desserts really got me hot under the collar at first glance.  I ended up picking the frozen nougat because it seemed like it would be the fruitiest and I needed the lightest dessert possible after all that heavy cream.  The ice cream was studded with dried fruit pieces and topped with a tangy sauce and orange segments far exceeded my expectations and I lapped it up.

The service was lovely and nobody kicked us out as we waited for the pouring rain to subside after paying our check.  I can see why Top Chef wanted Ed Cotton.  They must have been to Plein Sud.

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