We enjoyed dinner at Payard during restaurant Week. The regular menu is a bit pricey, but the Restaurant Week prix fixe suited us well. The atmosphere is very nice, a bit crowded in a bustling sort of way. I loved the light fixtures, they added a nice warm glow to the dining room.
Beginning with the usual basket of bread, it was warm and soft and thoroughly enjoyable. I ordered the cheese souffle, roast chicken, and dessert.
The fourth star on my rating is for the cheese souffle alone. This souffle was an AMAZING, CREAMY, GOOEY Parmesan delight that makes you want to eat it for the rest of your days. But it gets even better: the souffle is presented all alone on the plate, and then is joined by a wonderful creamy Parmesan sauce that is poured generously over the top. It was a positively gorgeous monument to the beautiful ingredient that is cheese. swoon
I must admit that after the cheese souffle, anything would have paled in comparison and the roast chicken certainly did. It was presented nicely, stuffed with foie gras that had a delicate flavor. The chicken was done just this side of done (almost undercooked, but it squeaked by) and had a nice flavor, but it didn’t knock my socks off.
As a side note, if my socks had indeed been knocked off, I am sure that a waiter would have appeared instantly to retrieve said socks. At one point during our meal, my beau excused himself to the loo. Because the tables are so close together, every path is essentially a one-way street. One of the waiters working the room began walking down the aisle, spotted my beau coming at him from the opposite direction, and did an about-face so quick you’d have thought he was Pac Man being chased by a Ghost (I’m amazed the dishes he was carrying didn’t go spinning off into the air like Frisbees). I wonder if the waiters are specially trained to get out of the way as all costs? It was quite humorous to see.
The real disappointment came when it was time for dessert. We were escorted to the pastry counter at the front of the shop to choose our dessert. While I loved the idea of having a choice, I was disinclined to be put on parade “And now, doing the Restaurant Week Walk of Shame because they want to eat here cheaply are Mr. and Mrs……” by getting up as a group from our table (I can’t imagine the shuffle a party of four would generate) and escorted to the front of the room. That said, my passion fruit tart had a lovely flavor.
The star of the evening was the cheese souffle, I would recommend Payard simply for that one dish alone.