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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Peachy Picks Tocqueville

Whom You Know first introduced you to Tocqueville:

Now Whom You Know strongly endorses it as one of the finest in French dining in Manhattan-it has graduated from Tasty Tidbits to Peachy's Picks. Peachy Deegan just loved the gourmet style of Jo-Ann Makovitzky and Marco A. Moreira.

Tocqueville is located in Union Square but it has an uptown feel to it. Upon entrance, Nicole will greet you warmly and professionally. As you walk in the ambiance will welcome you into the great dining hall just past the bar. Tocqueville's current location at One East 15th Street has been its home for the past three and a half years, as it was previously located at the current spot of 15 East, another accomplishment by Makovitzky and Moreira that Peachy will visit in the future. As soon as you see Marco you will see how popular he is among his clientele and how important personal relationships are to him...patrons all know him and he knows them. Marco feels that the customer is not always right, but they are never wrong! (Perhaps he should consider running for office...)

Marco doubles as a DJ serving up Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Chet Baker. The fabulous ambiance carries over to the bar area where you may try the lovely little gougers (a small cheesy French pastry) at the bar and be enchanted with Calum, the Scottish detail-oriented bartender who not only listens to you when you ask for water with no ice, but also asks if you want a lemon or a lime in it.

The pristine attention to detail at Tocqueville is above all what has earned it a spot among the best in Peachy's Picks. It is truly an upscale gem in a spot that few have discovered and that each Whom You Know reader must venture to. It is like going to the Four Seasons in Union Square.

As a chandelier enthusiast, Peachy Deegan must point out that a rather large scale chandelier presides over the dining crowd in a three-tiered structure with little lampshades. The mirrors and abstract paintings join it in creating a stylish atmosphere that you will immediately notice as the French rolls are brought to you with the to-die-for homemade butter.

Peachy Deegan started with the Hakkaisan Ginjo sake, known for its soft water and rice from the Niigata region of Japan paired with baked canteloni and croquets with black truffle mayo (quite nice!). The presentation was beautiful with fresh greenery.

Next she sampled the amazing Crudo and Tartare of Bluefin Tuna with Blood Orange, Sicilian pistachios and Watermelon Radishes, and served with the 2007 Riesling produced by Anton Bauer from Wagram, Austria. The Riesling was fresh, clear and a fabulous combination with the dish. Peachy loved the pistachio sauce.

As she went from course to course Peachy imagined what Anna Wintour might order here, as Marco has said that she has frequented the fine establishment. Peachy thought Waldo and Miguel were such attentive waiters and was fabulously impressed by the extensive knowledge of wine possessed by Nick.

Nick next served Peachy 100% Chenin Blanc semisweet 2001 Demi Sec from the Loire Valley with Tocqueville Pressed Hudson Valley Duck Foie Gras. Peachy love love LOVED the rhubarb marmalade that was served with it, as well as the port wine pearls and toasted brioche with a salad of radishes. Nick also mentioned that the nearby Green Market in Union Square is used by Tocqueville to bring its clientele the absolute freshest in produce.

The fireworks of the evening came with the entree: Poached Maine Lobster, with braised swiss chard, wood smoked crispy pork belly, glaed salsify and port wine lobster reduction. Everyone in Manhattan MUST TRY THIS. The last time Peachy Deegan had lobster in Manhattan that was this superb, she was at the Four Seasons Hotel. This might have even been better.

In economic times such as now, it is not the time to skip this kind of entree or this kind of dining. It is only by eating a lobster as exquisite as this that you can attain the same feeling you got when you saw your brokerage statement giving you a 20-25% return on your investments. You are not going to get that feeling at all from your statement so you need to eat the lobster! It is pure excellence.

The lobster was served with 2006 Chateau-neuf from the Rhone valley.

The next course was pan-roasted suckling pig in bacon juice paired with fennel puree, green asparagus puree and mushrooms and spring onions served with a 1976 (a fabulous year!) Warre's Colneita port from Portugal. To top it off, a fabulous array of cheeses were presented to Peachy Deegan, followed by a white dessert wine and cappuccino. Five samples of sorbet followed: coconut, pineapple, kiwi, berry and chocolate, and a sample of five heavenly items sent by angles, all of chocolate. Peachy love love LOVED the kiwi and berry sorbet and LOVES all things chocolate, particularly the chocolate cake and the chocolate drink.

The crowd was diverse. The cuisine appeals to a wide variety of patrons from the couple on a romantic dinner, to a Sex in the City crowd in their sixties.

As she left and was on her way home, Peachy Deegan noticed someone carrying a Marc Jacobs bag and Peachy could not help but think that Marc, if he is as smart as his friend Anna, would be a patron of Tocqueville too!

Whom You know is also looking forward to featuring Jo-Ann Makovitzky and Marco A. Moreira as Movers and Shakers.

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