Responses to s_k_'s Review

Respond to Review of Chez Nico
by s_k_

Review: As a vegetarian, it's always a pleasant surprise to find a multi-course, gourmet, all-vegetarian restaurant. And Chez Nico is one. So I ought to be over the moon. Let's get this out of the way: dinner isn't cheap. The expectation is that you'll have the six/seven-course menu of the day, which costs (in late 2012) 55 euros. Though you can order individual items, they're really quite small so you'll want the full seven courses (as the waiter points out, not very subtly). But I had gone in knowing what it cost and prepared to pay it in return for a memorable meal. The ordering of dishes was as good as you'd expect from a qualified chef (with an entertaining little tropical fruit palate-cleanser in course five). The presentation was excellent, and the service friendly without at all being snobbish. Really nice. The problem is that the food just isn't as grand as various review sites led me to believe. Perhaps if you've never had foam before, or never been served seven twee little courses, or never been in an intimate little restaurant with the chef smiling from just over the counter, this would be a spectacularly singular experience. And I don't want to take away from those for whom it is. But since none of those things really impressed me (or was entirely novel), I focused on the food, which just wasn't that other-worldly. So my problem is that the meal was good, but not great. Some courses were decent, others were very good. One round -- potatos coated in some sort of ashen substance to appear like eggs -- verged on the sublime. Two of my dinner companions raved about the sixth course, a greens and carrot combination, which I found only solid. The house white wine was, like the food, also good but not sublime. On the other hand, it could so easily have gone the other way, too. If two more dishes had been outstanding, I might have emerged feeling like a prince among men. That's the problem with only one peek at a very inventive place. So overall, I would still encourage people to try it out. It's very good food, and even non-vegetarians ought to stand a good chance of being excited by it.

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