La Scene par Stephanie Le Quellec opened on October 9. You enter on the street level and there is a stunning bar counter and a few tables. To go to dinner you head down the stairs to the totally stylish dining room. Banquette seating is along both of the long walls in the rectangular room. One end of the room is the open kitchen and opposite that are a couple free standing tables. The tables are marble topped and appointed with lovely linen napkins. The walls of the room have curved wood pieces and lighted opaque glass between them. It is truly striking but very difficult to describe, so look at the pictures below. The tables are on the small side and fairly closely set but each had lovely flowers in an unusual vase on them. Music is in the background and the room is softly lit. There are a couple seats at the kitchen counter and carpet is on the floor, so noise was not an issue. Chef Le Quellec was in the kitchen and did come out to the room to visit with all the guests. They offer several tasting menus (3, 4 or 7 courses and a truffle menu) and a la carte selections. Since we were there they have been awarded 2 Michelin stars.
We didn’t venture down immediately when we entered because I really wanted to sit at the wonderful bar and enjoy a cocktail and was glad we did because then we got to chat with the delightful and fun bartender, Dias.
While there they brought out a couple of our starting snacks. A foie gras tart with port gel on top was on a dark, cookie like crust. They cut it into pieces for us and it was yummy.
Next were crispy corn tubes filled with beef tartare and avocado. They were very good and a nice balance.
Downstairs we chose the 7 course tasting.
First they brought a small loaf of country style bread that was cut into thick slices. With it was an enormous mound of butter from which they shaved us a slab for the table. The bread had a good crisp crust and a dense interior.
An amuse bouche was mayonnaise and white truffles mixed with sea snails (whelks). The well seasoned snails had a nice chew and were very good.
Saint-Jacques scallops were served in 2 ways. A tartare of scallops was mixed with raw oyster and celery granitee. It was good but the oyster dominated the scallop. Browned scallops were topped with brown truffle slices and served in with beurre blanc sauce. Here the sweetness of the barely cooked scallops was well complimented by the rich buttery sauce and the fragrant truffle. They were all great together.
A brioche was prepared half toasted and half souffle bread filled with Pompadour potato and topped with Oscietra caviar. On the side was more cream with sorrel leaves. The cube was perfectly browned and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The topping was a generous layer of delicious caviar. It was a wonderful combination.
A country side leek from Mr. Barreira was plated with a ragout of Jerusalem artichoke and chestnut and topped with a black truffle vinaigrette. It was all in a consomme. The leeks were tender and the truffles had a wonderfully strong taste with the artichoke added good texture. A very great plate.
Red mullet was prepared in a Provence style bouillabaisse. It was served with a confit of fennel and kumquat. The fish was cooked perfectly moist and was nicely flavored. A simple dish and very good.
For the next course you had to select your knife, all with handles of different materials. Mine was made with the skin of a wild Ray. A double milk fed veal chop was topped with porcini mushroom cream and white Alba truffles. The tender and moist veal was perfect with the wonderful sauce bursting with the taste of mushrooms. Alongside was a delicate pasta that make a great accompaniment for the plate. We had a glass of red wine to go with the meat.
A granité of Granny Smith apples was mixed with tarragon, mint and lime. It was cool and herby and an excellent palate cleanser.
Dessert was citrus with fresh Japanese lemon and Buddha’s hand served with a sorbet of olive oil. It was a very tart lemon with strong flavor and some chewy fruits. It had lots of intense flavor but seemed a bit similar to the palate cleanser.
The final dessert was a spice cake with orange and some butter cookies. The cake was very tasty with good texture. The butter cookies were subtle, very buttery and totally crisp. The were perfection and a fabulous finish for the meal.