The Big Apple on a Budget: Tocqueville, a New York Restaurant Review
by Leonor White
I discovered Tocqueville last New Year’s Eve, and it’s been my go-to place ever since when special people come to town. My latest visit to this understated yet elegant Union Square New American-French restaurant with a French flare and amiable, well-trained servers brought rave “reviews” from the entire table.
Seven days a week, the restaurant offers an excellent value prix fixe menu ($29). The menu consists of three courses — appetizer, main course and dessert — as well as an amuse-bouche and interesting housemade bread à go-go. In the evening, Tocqueville offers a pre-theatre menu at $44, as well as a full à la carte menu. We went for Saturday lunch, when the restaurant was unusually uncrowded, so we sat on the ground floor from where we could enjoy a view of the restaurant’s refined décor. The dining room was pleasantly quiet with tables set widely apart and well-designed acoustics, allowing us to concentrate on the marvelous food and have good conversation too.
As mentioned, the prix fixe offers three courses, with two choices per course. From the appetizers, everyone tried both offerings, the “creamless sunchoke soup” and the “salad with mushroom terrine”; both dishes were flawless, the flavors bold but balanced. Prior to our appetizer arriving, we were served an excellent “roasted asparagus and beets” amuse-bouche, a great start to our culinary adventure. Throughout the lunch we were also able to enjoy an assortment of homemade bread, namely, brioche, focaccia filled with olive chunks, and crusty, white sourdough with homemade butter (you heard me right, homemade).