March 10, 2007

49 West 44th Street

triomphe-9.jpgOn March 8, 2007, Ron, June, Linda and I dined at Triomphe before a terrific performance of Journey’s End at the nearby Belasco Theater. It is a small restaurant tucked into the Iroquois Hotel on a block which includes the New York Yacht Club, the Harvard Club and the Algonquin Hotel.  

We ordered a bottle of 2005 François Villard Vin du Pays Viognier “Contours des Poncins” for apéritif and to accompany our starters. It comes from a de-classified, younger vine Condrieu parcel which will eventually make its way back into the Condrieu AOC, according to the Villard website. It tasted like a good Condrieu to me at half the price. triomphe-1.jpgWe also ordered a bottle of 2003 Roger Belland 1er Cru “Beauregard” Santenay to go with the main courses. I found it interesting and already drinkable, as one might expect from a Santenay.  

Linda started with the acorn squash wontons in a truffle and parmesan broth; she found the wonton wrappers to be doughy and underdone and triomphe-7.jpgthe truffle flavor missing.  

Ron had the endive salad with grapes, Stilton cheese and creamy red wine vinaigrette; fortunately, he likes blue cheeses as he thought that the Stilton dominated the other ingredients. June had a salad of baby greens which she enjoyed. 


I started with the sauteed mussels and chorizo with saffron cream. The main flavor added to the mussel broth was actually lemon; there was a wedge of lemon on top of the dish and I found several lemon seeds in the broth.  


Linda went on to have the roasted Nieman Ranch pork chop with rutabaga purée, caramelized apple sauce and spicy mustard greens. She thought the whole dish was very nice. 


Ron and June enjoyed the seared coriander crusted Australian lamb rack with foie gras stuffed prunes, sautéed spinach and port wine. They liked the way the crispness of the coriander crust contrasted with the flavorful tenderness of the lamb. They said the prunes overwhelmed their foie gras insides; that is a garnish I would have thought better suited to the pork chop.  


I ordered the Denver venison red leg with cranberry compote, sweet potato purée, sautéed spinach and maple glaze. The venison was moist and flavorful and all the other components were coherent with it and well prepared.  

Ron shared his chocolat frangelico pot de crème with us, we had coffee and went off to the theater. The whole meal came to a little less than $100 each, including tax and tip. That is very reasonable for a meal of this quality in the theater district. There is a six-course tasting menu for $75, or $95 with wine pairings, but it is not available for pre-theater diners. Our meal had the unusual feature of disappointing first courses and quite good main courses; so often it is the other way around. Another attractive feature of Triomphe is that it is surprisingly quiet for such a small room. I would certainly return before the theater, but probably not for the tasting menu. 


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