The gentleman behind the bar, that greeted us when we arrived, seemed very friendly and sat us at a nice 2-top by the window. We had a foie with quince jam appetizer that was okay (Mulvaney's does it better) and a calamari la plancha dish, which was nice but not as memorable as when I had it during my last visit. It really needed seasoning. Anyhow, things were fine until we got our entrees. Both of us ordered the sea bass, which was supposed to be served over a potato puree with artichokes. What we ended up with was potato puree sloppily plopped in a bowl with bits of artichoke and some kind of red broth (hard to tell if it was a tomato or red pepper based broth). On top was a piece of sea bass about 1.5 inches wide and 5 inches long. This is THE most overcooked piece of fish I have ever eaten. It was dry as the Sahara and tough. Mr.S. gacked on his too but he hates to send things back. So he cut his up and tried to have it absorb some of the red liquid it was swimming in. I had had such a craptastic week that I couldn't deal with it. I very politely signaled the waiter over and explained what the situation was. His response was to ask Mr.S if his fish too was overly dry. Mr.S. advised him it was. So he took (only) my plate back to the kitchen. What? Anyhow, a few minutes later he returned, handed me a menu and brusquely advised me that, "the chef always prepares the fish that way and no one has ever complained." He then informed me that I should choose something else. At this point I'm a bit perturbed. After the horrible week I'd had, the LAST thing I needed was this snooty French waiter being a dick to me. I really wanted to tell him that if that's how his chef ALWAYS cooks his fish, overdone to the point that it was not consumable, then that was a sad testament to his skills. However, at the risk of ruining Mr.S's night too, I ordered the mussels. I mean really...who can f*ck up mussels, right? The mussels arrived and they were fine. We opted to have dessert elsewhere and I mentally crossed Fringale off my list of restaurants to return to or recommend,
Anyhow, I thought I'd share a fish recipe that we make at our house often. I ran across it by happenstance-- one of those emailed recipes from Tasting Table. It's quite good, tasty with or without the ginger yogurt sauce and very hard to screw up (take note, Mr. Fringale chef).
Chile-Garlic Broiled Salmon with Ginger Yogurt Salmon (from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen)