Dinner at Tour d'Argent

I  commented on the bulletin board about how abysmal the food was at this restaurant, but the views are magnificent, the wine list extraordinary, and the quality of the service impeccable. The quenelles tasted as if they were made with crushed styrofoam in a heavy sauce. I felt badly that I left 60% of them on my plate (and I was hungry!). The restaurant's famous pressed duck had no flavor and the gritty sauce tasted as if someone had dumped in several spoonfuls of dirt. My neighbor had a relatively tasty terrine of foie gras, but tasteless spring lamb was inexcusable. Bottom line, this is a place to go for the great wine list and view, not for the food.

As for the wines, a remarkably young, vibrant bottle of 1976 Riesling from Trimbach's famed Close Ste. Hune was a terrific start for the evening. It was followed by a big, buttery, mineral-infused 1986 Coche Dury Meursault Les Perrières and three perfect wines ... a pristine 1990 Rayas, a surreal 1985 Ponsot Chambertin (about as great a Burgundy as I have had over the last few years), and a sumptuous bottle of Fonseca's 1948 vintage port. The wines more than made up for the food.

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