Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tournesol - Like Coming Back Home

After a very long but unintentional break, I returned back to Tournesol this week.  I dined with Meg, who suggested we check it out for their Monday - Wednesday dinner prix-fixe.  Never not in the mood for French food, I gladly obliged and after just a few minutes in the restaurant, we couldn't be happier that we came back.

Tournesol, we were glad to see, hasn't lost its touch.  On the contrary, it seemed to be as on-point as ever, proven by an almost full restaurant on a random Wednesday night.  Here's what we ordered:

Soup of the Day (Carrot soup with leeks) - I'm a sucker for carrot soup because to me, it just says comfort.  Our waiter described this one as also containing leeks, which completely excited both Meg and me.  As you can see from the above shot, the soup had a gorgeous pale orange color and its taste was lovely and mild.  The leeks were a nice addition, adding more texture and a gentle onion flavor.  They made the soup heartier and unexpected - it could've been a meal in itself.

Mussels with Frites - Loving the simple basics when it comes to French food, I eyed the mussels marinieres, which are just traditional mussels cooked in white wine, garlic and fresh parsley.  They were served with frites of course, which were just perfect for dipping into this timeless sauce.  The mussels themselves were plentiful and of good quality - I only had one unopened one, which I of course left alone, but all the others were big and meaty.

Braised Lamb Shank - Meg ordered this decadent entree, which was quite impressive in presentation.  The meat rested on a bed of cous-cous and was further dressed with roasted veggies as well as crunchy veggie chips on top.  I had a bite of the meat and it was really tasty - tender, succulent and absolutely falling off of the bone, as it should.

Dessert - We each got a dessert, which came with our prix-fixe deal.  I got the tarte tatin (an upside down apple tart) and Meg chose the Marquise au Chocolate, which consisted of dark and white chocolate mousse.  Both were excellent options and I enjoyed the light, homemade flavor of the buttery tarte tatin crust.  The plump apple on top of the crust was a pleasure to bite into, gentle in taste but just sweet enough to satisfy a dessert craving.

Meg's dessert was more decadent, and really amazing.  My favorite aspect about it was the fresh raspberry sauce that the mousse floated on.  Pairing the creamy, rich chocolate with this slightly tangy sauce made my tastebuds do the happy dance.

Service and Cost:
We were impressed with the professional service, and as I mentioned in an earlier review, the waitstaff is actually French.  They had the pacing part of service down pat and we liked that they let us chat as long as we felt like at the end of our meal.  Not unlike in a bistro in France, it felt relaxed, casual and delivered on quality.

Prices were moderate and for a 3-course prix-fixe we paid $25 - together with wine, tax and tip, our total was about $43 each.  Not cheap but so worth the amazingness I just described.

3 Mmmms

Tournesol - 50-12 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101


7 Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave

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