The Greenhouse is a medium sized place with lots of wood, a rich blue paint color very nice linens and a wall of windows to the street. The layout has a small elevated section for 3 nicely spaced tables and comfortable bench seating that look into the kitchen and a lower level for the majority of the tables where the tables are more closely spaced but some are divided by spacers. The two portions are separated by a gauzy curtain and a ramp up to the kitchen. Chef Mickael Viljanen has been running the kitchen for 5 years this March. They offer 2 tasting menus, one with 4 and the other 6 courses. A cheese course is a supplement. We chose the 4 course menu.
We started with a couple amuse bouche, a cream and cod tartlet topped with dried black anchovies, a beef tartar and lovage and a suckling pig beignet with bonita mayo and apple. The tartlet was smokey, crisp and delicious. The beef was on a puffy crisped cracker and was tasty, salty and fun. The beignet was warm and crisp. It was surprisingly not heavy but full of flavor. They also brought out a fresh sourdough baguette with country farm butter. It was a nice crisp bagette with good, strong flavored butter.
First course was Foie Gras Royale with Granny Smith apple, walnut and smoked eel. The walnuts were candied and the foie gras was smooth, creamy and worked perfectly with the sweet yet tart apple. A bit of apple sorbet was also on the plate and it added a nice temperature contrast. The flavor of the the dish really sang – it all blended well and the crisp nuts added just the right touch to move this plate to the excellent level.
Lightly steamed John Dory was next, served with broccoli, Vadouvan, lobster sabayon and yogurt. The delicate buttery fish was cooked perfectly and on the side were nice vegetables and a couple good sauces. The fish was best with the buttermilk sauce whereas the sabyon had a bit more salt and was better with the broccoli. A crisp of something was also on the plate that added a nice textural contrast to the good dish.
Roast Anjou pigeon was served with cauliflower, truffle, capers and raisins. The confit leg was served with toasted garlic and the breast meat was accented with winter truffles, raisins and cauliflower. The truffles had a wonderful aroma and actually had a good taste, no cardboard. The nicely rare breast had a mixture of sauces that went wonderfully with everything on the plate. By serving the legs confit style they were not dry at all. Both parts of the bird were delicious in this wonderful course.
Dessert was a chocolate and praline “tart” with coffee and milk sorbet. The wonderful chocolate portion was accented with caramel and went perfectly with the salted milk sorbet.
The next treat was a couple of fresh mandarin oranges and a hazelnut pastry topped with the cutest chocolate square that was printed with “the GREENHOUSE” – too fun.