27, quai Voltaire (7)
Classic quai location and décor. Very good food. Diverse, extensive menu. Well executed, attentively served. Expensive seasonal ingredients. Popular with Americans and with fashionistas. Restaurants of this type used to be common. Traditional, extensive menu. Formal service. So many of the others are gone. Voltaire remains, supported by painfully high prices.
Less a reevaluation than an amplification following a 2013 dinner:
This is a terrific restaurant. The dishes are for the most part simple (one exception: quenelle de brochet with sauce bon femme), but perfectly executed. The portions are large enough to share, including starters and desserts. If they could be it would make Voltaire affordable. But that would undermine its business model and change the clientele.
An added note from a 2014 meal: Mostly English being spoken; most of these older, over-dressed. Detracts more than I recalled. Two corner tables reserved for French.
Café (lunch only): mediocre.
Restaurant: very good. Relatively simple soups, composed salads, grills with sauces. Vegetable accompaniments. Nothing “modern” on offer. An appealing package for an Upper East Side crowd and their French equivalents.
Many cold starter choices augmented by daily specials, followed by daily specials for fish, meats and desserts. All top notch, including simple, but great desserts.
Professional. Friendly. Many regulars greeted warmly.
Waiters are fixtures. Part of the allure (for some) is to be remembered by the waiters, which adds to the clubby mystique. An ever- present, sometimes frosty owner takes orders and the cash.
Very high. Wines also very high, with only a handful of exceptions.
Very high prices across the a la carte menu.
The wine list is simply eccentric:. Five pages of high three and four digit wines, with page 1 listing five choices in the mid 30€ range, including our 35€ “wine of the month” Morgan.
(5x) (2012 – 2014)