The Restaurant A.T. (Atsushi Tanaka) in the 5th is another place I ate at earlier this summer that Colette marked on her list of "musts" and we went with two wonderful long-time colleagues in town for a few days. The menu this time was spelled out and totally different from last time excepting the charbon chip amuse starter.
To begin with we had cubes of salmon, halves of tiny potatoes and juniper; then veal with yellow beets and rosemary - both with a bottle of light Alsatian Riesling - a wonderful start.
Then we had chichard (a mackerel-like fish) in a cherry-tomato gaspacho with dribs of avocado; some foccacio (much better than it was last time) with olive oil from Seville; and lieu jaune (pollack) with pdt puree and safran - with another slightly more assertive Alsatian wine.
As it came time to serve our double-lamb chops (wonderfully underdone) the head-guy who was most attentive to our wine-needs whispered "would you like some red wine with the lamb?" - I asked the table and on we went with another bottle which worked out well with the tonka/chocolate dessert as well. "Oh," you say, "what are those green dots?" - "well they're camouflage." "Huh?" Sure, pureed broccoli, zucchini and parsley." "Ah, ha."
Our bill; arr, hem, haw, shucks, our friends picked it up although I put up a weak fight to share it. But if you figure that each couple had two 45 E menus, water (2 E), coffee (?) and let's say one bottle of wine at 37 E, one could get out for about 135E.
"Problems John?" "Well, actually yes." The noise level was intolerable and the peskies weren't fellow Yankees or fellow Parisians but Asians who constituted 50% of their custom.