NYC Restaurant Review – L’Ecole

It’s Bistro Sunday! – A weekly review of a eatery or restaurant in New York City.

I went to L’Ecole to try food cooked by ICC (International Culinary Center) students. There’s a large menu offering. Plus, you can bring your own wine (maximum two bottles) on Mondays and have it with your meal — without the corking fee.

I made a reservation for 12:30 P.M., arrived at the restaurant and someone had called to change my reservation to 2:00 P.M. Note, I did not call L’Ecole at all. I asked for the number that called, it was not a NYC number and was definitely not mine. Thankfully, there were tables available.

But had this jeopardized my lunch and table, I would be very hangry (hungry + angry). This restaurant should consider caffeinating their hosts because Open Table reservations have customer’s phone numbers and the host did not bother checking.

Onto the food! Please excuse the photo quality, I took photos on my cheap android phone.

Here’s the down and dirty about what my cousin and I ate and how it was.

Bottom line: L’ecole got their sauce on point (or should I say on fleek), their entrées are good but they could do better with the dessert. 

nowater-24Country Pâté – Truffles, Pistachios, Cornichons, Whole Grain Mustard

Great choice for a pâté beginner because it tastes like ham and has little liver in it. But for me, I prefer pâté to have more animal innards and have soft, pasty texture so I can treat it like a spread for my bread.

nowater-21Duck Confit Ravioli – Cured Duck Leg, Toasted Hazelnuts, Brown Butter, Lemon Zest

The ravioli filling was pungent, salty and had an off-putting sweet tone to it. The ravioli skin, wrapping or pasta part was a bummer. It was thick, chewy and strong in flavor — battling the filling for attention.

nowater-6Braised Cod with Chorizo and Clams –Kale, Saffron Potatoes, Chicken and Clam Jus, Chorizo Oil

A well-dressed fish that could have spent less time in the heat. The clam jus was a great accompaniment to the cod and the table bread.

Pan Seared Duck BreastPan-Seared Duck Breast – Warm Asparagus Salad, Crispy Fingerling Potatoes

My favorite dish of them all. This crisp and well-seasoned duck did not taste like a blood trip to Game of Thrones, but a sweet velvety ride in the duck pond park. The sauce was similar to barbecue sauce. And like the clam jus from the fish, I cleaned off this brown and sticky substance with bread.

nowater-5Orange Olive Oil Cake  – Sunflower Seed Crisp, Crème Celeste, Orange Supremes

Asides from the Crème Celeste portion (or vanilla bean custard sauce in my world) this dessert was a letdown. I expected a cake (maybe a square or triangle slice) that was not a cupcake. To my demise, it was a cupcake. I didn’t go to a fine dining restaurant to have a CUPCAKE. (Sorry cupcake lovers, but like cookies, cupcakes are sweet snacks — not desserts.) Heck, I could do to Georgetown for that. On top of that, it was DRY. The Crème Celeste provided was not enough to moisturize the dry pores in that cake. Plus, the seed crisp was dry too. Without the crème, this dessert tastes like desert.

nowater-3Passion Fruit Baked Alaska – Raspberry Coulis, Fresh Raspberries

When I ordered this, I expected a bowl of white fluff blazing in fire. To my dismay, the dessert was not ablaze. The chefs had already torched it in the kitchen. I can’t say I loved or hated this dessert because meringue’s not my favorite and it was my first time having baked Alaska, so I have nothing to compare to.

Asides from a three-course lunch L’ecole also gave us nice table bread, an olive, tomato and smoked cheese amuse-bouche and extra chocolates and cookies to go with our desserts.

Would I visit again? Maybe not.

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