This year for AngryRussian’s birthday I took him to St. Lawrence Restaurant for dinner. I had always wanted to try this place but have heard that the waiting list is quite long, so never looked into it. Now with COVID reopening status, it seemed so much easier to get a reservation in due time so it worked out!
For COVID, St. Lawrence is now doing a pre-pay system. You reserve and pay for you meal online before you go, and drinks and any additional food are paid afterwards. So far the 3 course menu has been $65 per person.
I managed to keep our destination a secret despite him driving us there. He was so certain we were going to Cuchillo and I even pretended we were going through the door and he bought it =) and was so confused when I took him next door. St. Lawrence’s front door is quite inconspicuous after all.
I will say that it did seem pretty crowded in the small space despite having plexiglass dividers between tables. We were fortunately seated at a standalone table in the middle so it was ok. We were given disposable menus which we were encouraged to take home or they’ll recycle.
We were served an amuse-bouche after ordering which was always nice.
Aside from the “Pour Commencer” choices included with the menu, I was also intrigued by the Escargôts à l’Ail en Bouchées de la Reine ($18) in the “Hors d’œuvres” menu. These were escargots with garlic butter & puff pastry and came in 3 pieces. This was amazingly garlicky and the puff pastry really soaked up all the sauce. The escargots had a pleasant tender chew to them and they were so delicate.
One item we picked from the “Pour Commencer” was the Pâté en Croûte du Jour (terrine of the day in pastry with condiments and mustard). Today it was pork and walnuts and came in a half portion.
The other item from the “Pour Commencer” was the Vol-au-vent aux Champignons, Cresson & Sauce Mornay which is a delicious mushroom ragout in puff pastry with watercress and Mornay sauce. Again the sauce with this dish was amazing and there was quite a bit of mixed mushrooms to go around. And yes I realize we ordered 3 puff pastry items but maybe that’s their specialty!
From the “Les Plats Principaux” menu I picked the Épaule d’agneau braisé which is a braised lamb shoulder. It was served with ratatouille, pistou & rosemary lamb jus.
DELICIOUS. The lamb meat was so tender and had a good amount of fat to keep it moist. The pistou had some crunchies in it to keep the texture interesting. The ratatouille added a nice but not overpowering acidity to cut through the fattiness of the meat. I LOVE LAMB.
AngryRussian chose the Duck Confit with ricotta gnocchi and peas a la francaise.
This would’ve been my other choice if AngryRussian hadn’t picked it, although we ended up just sharing everything anyways! The duck was also moist and had a yummy crisp skin on top.
The ricotta gnocchi was light and fluffy, and soaked up all the jus! I did notice that the jus for both our dishes tasted extremely similar, if not the exact same.
As for dessert, I had a hard time choosing between their Tarte aux Citron & Meringue or their Riz au Lait, Pacanes & Caramel Salé and asking our server was no help (he said he liked both). So in the end I picked their famous rice pudding with pecans & salted caramel and I did not regret it.
The rice kernels were big! Almost like pearl barley size, which was interesting. I would describe the pudding as almost like rice mixed with whipped cream, so that’s different from rice puddings I’ve had in the past.
The homemade salted caramel sauce was so buttery and rich, and when mixed all together with the pecans and puff pastry coils (4th time!!), resulted in a richly crunchy and creamy concoction. Very well done.
AngryRussian picked the Gâteau au chocolat because he liked chocolate cake. I only had a bite. This had chantilly cream all over with strawberries.
In the end I was really happy with my choice of taking AngryRussian here and he feels the same. We really really enjoyed the food at St. Lawrence restaurant and am already talking about coming back really soon!