A couple weeks ago pre-doctor’s appointment, Hubba Hubby and I scooted into the city a little early for an impromptu lunch date at nearby Le District. I had a hankering for a niçoise salad, and cravings like that should be satisfied!
It was a little later in the afternoon, so we were seated quickly in the far back. I was surprised to see tables upon tables with children at them – I mean in the 7-10 year old range. While Beauborg isn’t fancy or upscale – and their website certainly says it’s great for families – it’s a little on the pricier side, doesn’t have a children’s menu that I could see, and … I don’t know, didn’t seem like the kind of place I’d take my children.
*And a little envy/judgment to be cast: a table with 4 children and 2 adults near us had ordered a dish for each child, none of whom finished their food. It looked like 1-2 bites of each plate was eaten before they were cleared, which offended my non-wasteful side. My mom would have had us share plates and made sure we ate a reasonable amount of them, or at least wrapped stuff to go – nope, all of it was cleared with no leftovers taken. My heart hurt a little at all the food waste – one of the little boys, who was roughly 8 years old, had ordered the same dish as Hubba Hubby. Why???
Fun non-alcoholic drinks on the menu! This grape slash pear juice was very much more grape with a hint of pear – fun to try and a nice sweet sip with my savory meal. I’m glad I tried it, though I wouldn’t order it again.
We started off with garlicky escargots; the buttery sauce was perfect to dip the bread from the basket above, soaking up all of the buttery garlic flavor. The escargots themselves were plump but mild in taste; I liked mine just fine, while I think Hubba Hubby expressed some disappointment that they weren’t more punchy in flavor.
Hubba Hubby must’ve adopted my BLT craving from a few weeks ago, because he ordered the lobster BLT. I tried a taste and found it overwhelmingly peppery, and a bit mustardy; while overall OK, it looked far more impressive than it tasted. He still enjoyed it and ate it all, but I don’t think he would order it again either.
Funny story… I said earlier I wanted a niçoise salad, but I realized that the tuna was ‘seared’ and so would likely come mostly raw and only cooked on the outside. Wanting to avoid that (plus the high mercury content of many tunas), I asked our server if I could switch to salmon – there was another salad on the menu for $1 less with salmon on it. He hesitated, said “I have to check with the kitchen, there will be an additional charge” and I said that was fine – and before I could say another word, before Hubba Hubby had ordered, he disappeared. I think to ask the kitchen if it was OK? I’m not sure, but he reappeared a few minutes later, confirmed that it was OK, and took the rest of our order.
Oh, salad. I do love you so, when you’re made really well, when the balance of all your flavors plus the freshness of your vegetables makes my mouth sing with joy. But there are certain finer points that take a salad from OK to good to amazing… and sadly, this one stayed at OK. The salmon was cooked very crisp on the outside, but mostly unseasoned. The greens were dressed nicely, but extremely awkwardly sized – too small for me to feel a need to cut them with my knife, too big to comfortably fit into my mouth easily without flipping dressing all over myself. The choice of vegetables confused me; there was a scattering of tiny cut tomatoes underneath the salmon, capers, and some peppers, but nothing seemed to ‘match’ each other. It was a very awkward salad to eat, and I wound up feeling frustrated as I ate it, and fell silent as I just worked on getting food in my mouth without spilling on myself.
And… the service. It was… odd, to say the least. They were overly attentive to the point where I felt on edge that they’d appear to whisk my plate away if I set my fork down, but they would disappear and be hidden from sight in between. It was very confusing and uncomfortable when they’d suddenly appear to refill my water glass, while we were having a totally private conversation seemingly alone… just odd. Definitely not “bad” service, just … poorly timed, I guess?
In the end, they didn’t charge me extra for the salmon substitution. Lunch was on the pricey side — my non-alcoholic beverage was $9 (which I knew before I ordered), and Hubba Hubby had 2 drinks, but even so my salad was well into the $20 range as was his lobster BLT. I can’t say that I wouldn’t return — I still enjoyed the overall experience — but I would definitely order different things and perhaps go at a busier time so service wouldn’t be so ready to pounce as I put down my fork.
Of course, Le District has several other dining establishments within it, so I am inclined to try one of the others before I return to Beauborg!
225 Liberty St
New York, NY 10281