Big Daddy has been pouting for months because he wanted to go to the French restaurant. So, yesterday I relented and we went to MAISON POURCEL, their caps, not mine.
Got dropped off at the corner of Shaanxi as it is a one way street and walked to the restaurant. Weather is decent and the walk is fine. Most of the shops are still closed but lo and behold, sitting on the counter of a storefront (kind of like a convenience store on the street) were two baskets of panties. Cheap, awful and not even red panties. Now I could understand selling red panties tossed in a basket for that last minute gift-but just any old nasty pair of panties? Who buys this shit?
The restaurant has a girl in the lobby to direct you up the elevator. It was very confusing and we wanted to go to the bar but ended up in the restaurant. We could not sit at any of the window tables except one hidden in a corner. Only one of the premium tables were seated while we were there. Sitting in the middle was very crowded (tables not people) and close quarters so we took the stuck in the corner table. It was dark in that corner, I wanted to leave but before I could get out they brought me another candle. Seriously, it was so dark even with 2 candles I could not quite make out the food served.
Now I will admit that I have never been to France, but this was not like any French food I have had before. My appetizer was a very bizarre salmon dish that I cannot describe. BD had the bread soup which he said was delicious but it was room temperature. He said that is how they serve soup in France. The amuse bouche was not amusing and the entrees were all made into a mousse or so crisp they could not be chewed. And I thought the dabs of stuff artistically all over the plate (the mousse stuff) went out in the 90's. Anyway no real flavor or aah moment. I ordered a Campari and soda to start and I don't know what they served me but it was not Campari and soda. And it was in a weird glass with a rocks glass full of ice on the side. Could not even attempt to pour the drink in the rocks glass and no room for the ice in the "beverage" glass. So as soon as I could I told BD I was heading for the bar while he cashed out.
The bar is a delight. Wonderful decor, a deck, and the best bartenders ever. I had a wonderful glass of wine, did not ask the name, and BD had an expresso. Then all this shit starting appearing at the bar in front of us. It was desserts and confections. And one spoon. This came from upstairs and apparently was part of our dinner. The chocolates were divine, can't speak to the rest of it as I did not have a spoon. The young man bartending was a year of the rabbit and had to obtain certain items to maintain his luck for this year. I only remember the red bracelet which he will get from Yu Gardens. I asked him where to get the best Shanghainese food and he told us Yu Gardens. I think that will be a Monday trip.
So, dinner for two with one unknown drink and one glass of wine was $200 US, which is quite high for what we had in my opinion. I have had many excellent dinners for less. Would I go back, only to the bar which was fun and fabulous. But it is out of the way for a drink unless you planned to be there. Service in the restaurant was good but the presentation was scripted and I doubt a foodie conversation could be possible.
Oh and every window table had a stool on one side, opposite the window. Do not even want to try and figure out the stool as it was like a low footstool and who would be the footstool sitter in a dinner party?