New French Restaurant: pluses and minuses

I was excited, thrilled even, the moment I heard that a French restaurant (or French-inspired restaurant, as they call it) would be opening soon. Soon took months, but a few weeks after the opening of Brasserie 529, (529 E. Liberty St., tel: 238-0045). I sat down with the menu in hand, all smiles. Immediately a warning bell clanged. The first item on the entree menu is a Lyndy Burger. The FIRST!    I sighed. Regrouped. Pondered, and ordered.  I chose the Lobster Pot Pie. Not very French, to be sure, as lobsters as we know them simply don’t exist in France, but I adore lobster, the Sauce Americaine with truffles in which, according to the menu, the lobster was “drowning” sounded promising and the server said the pie contained a whole, delicious lobster tail!    My husband chose the Duxelles Stuffed Pork Loin. A friend had Grilled Salmon Croque Monsieur.         The servers are efficient, pleasant, friendly. The restaurant is attractive but the noise level high, apparently due to a lack of acoustical tiles. Outside is a pretty patio for outdoor dining.      Our food arrived.  The piece of lobster inside my pie was small, perhaps half of the tail of a very small lobster.  It was also overcooked. Badly overcooked. Downright rubbery. The pastry shell was flaky and tasty. The sauce and the veggies within it were delicious, although the truffles remained imperceptible.    The duxelles stuffed pork was excellent, the loin young and tender, the duxelles stuffing just right with the emphasis on the mushrooms. Vegetables were fresh and piquant, and the honey maple cream sauce truly lovely.    The Salmon Croquet Monsieur was another matter. The salmon was overcooked but my friend didn’t mind, as she like all her fish, even salmon, very, very well cooked. The béchamel sauce was excellent, as was the ham and the squash. The bread, however, was so hard it was difficult to chew.     I’ll return a few more times before I venture a review.  In the  meantime, if any of you go there, let me know your thoughts.

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