Dining: Le Turtle

Le Turtle Restaurant
Le Turtle Restaurant

Hard shell.

Soft underbelly.

The trendy new restaurant, Le Turtle on the lower east side offers up some fabulous food.

But there are issues.

Le Turtle
Le Turtle

Turtles are ectotherms…cold blooded, a pervasive Le Turtle attitude reflected in the staff and environment…just too cool for school.

The prison staff (institution gray jumpsuits are the uniform) I mean the servers, along with the self-impressed hostess and the college dorm room decorating, do not enhance the dining experience.

We were seated next to an unfinished wall of plywood where they charge iPhones and store the cradle that Spotify emanates from.

I did really enjoy the food except for the measly portion of $29 mushrooms…tasty, too much garlic and a total rip off.

Freemans’ Taavo Somer and The Smile’s Carlos Quirarte debuted their new restaurant, Le Turtle, in December.

The chef, Greg Proechel, previously cooked at Blanca.

Let’s get this party started.

Beer & Cremant
Beer & Cremant

I was a bit pissed off that the Cremant was $16 a glass…probably what the bottle of Cremant sells for retail, but it was decent.

David ordered a wacky Mikkeller Pilsner that he said was enjoyable ($8).

romaine Salad
Romaine Salad

 Now, to the crux of the matter…food.

We started with an amazing crisp, ice cold Romaine salad with garlic confit emulsion, anchovy breadcrumbs and fire sardo ($14).

Cheese
Fresh Cheese

The salad was served with another one of our selections, the Fresh Cheese dish with kabocha, burnt onion petal and rye ($12). It was wonderful.

Foie Gras
Foie Gras

I ordered the warm Foie Gras…tres bien ($20).

Squid
Squid

David selected the delicious Grilled Squid in a shallow pool of lemon juice, garlic, white wine and a hint of pungent fish sauce ($16).

Mushrooms
Mushrooms

The expensive, disappointing Mushrooms were the final selection consisting of oyster brie emulsion and Perigord truffles ($29).

The whole Sasso chicken for two with bitter greens and sorrel with pumpkin vinaigrette which arrives on flaming hay that smells like  pot seems to be the dish to order ($49).

Sasso Chicken
Sasso Chicken

The Sasso bird is a red-hued, lean-breasted, slow-growth fowl hatched in Montreal and raised in Pennsylvania. It’s been brined by the kitchen for 42 hours, dried for three days, cooked with steam and roasted at three different escalating temperatures to crisp the skin and render the fat.

The crowd was pretentious. The servers looked like many of the laborers in South Africa which is a bit off-putting.

Turtle time…many tasty items, but seriously lacking in personality and ambiance.

Le Turtle 177 Chrystie Street at Rivington Lower East Side, New York City. Open daily from 6-11pm. Reservations online. Check out their website. It’s cray cray.

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