Rating: Chris Okay, Janine: Eh.
Le Fandy – Not So Dandy.
Chris: Janine and I are split on this one. I thought the food and dining experience at Le Fandy were okay. Janine did not. There are several features I like about this restaurant and several that proved to be less than desirable. The dining area is intimate and comfortable. It supports only about a dozen tables. The small and focused menu was also appealing. There are 5 or six appetizers to choose from an equal number of entrees. A few daily specials are also available. Unfortunately, some of the food was poorly executed and served past its prime.
Janine: I didn’t like the menu at all. It is one thing to have a small menu, but Le Fandy’s reminded me of the dinner selection list from a wedding in the 1980’s. “Please select one first course and one entrée from the list provided…”
Chris: The service was very attentive. We were seated promptly upon arrival and then greeted by our waiter soon after. He offered a nice assortment of bread and thoroughly explained each variety available. Unfortunately, my selection turned out to be stale. It was disappointing after such care and attention was paid to its presentation.
Janine: Chris and I discussed our dinner selections before the waiter returned to take our orders. I decided on the Lobster Crepes with a Carrot-Ginger sauce as an appetizer and the Alaskan Halibut for an entrée. The waiter then informed us the restaurant was out of both along with another appetizer. How can a place with such a small menu be out of three items?! Lump Crab meat was offered as a substitute for the Lobster in the crepe appetizer. I ordered it only to be disappointed when it arrived. The crepe was too thick. It could have been mistaken for a small pancake. The presentation was shoddy and sophomoric. The final product looked more like a poorly rolled burritos than a delicately stuffed Crepe. The lump Crab Meat was good but the Carrot-Ginger sauce was off-balance. The ginger over-powered the carrot.
Chris: I chose the daily special as an appetizer. It was a smoked Trout and Beet Napoleon. The flavor and texture of the Trout were good, but the overall dish was misconceived and poorly executed. Flaked Smoked Trout was mixed with field greens then packed into a ring mold. A thin Beet slice was laid over the top. The Beet was mangled and unappetizing. There was no liaison holding the dish together. The ring mold schtick literally fell apart as soon as the fork made contact. Without any liaison, such as a mayonnaise or vinaigrette, the flaked trout just spread out about the plate. The undressed field greens were the worst part of the dish. I assume they were added to give the flaked Trout some height in the ring mold. A few wilting leaves were also placed on top. Undressed greens in most applications are unappetizing at best. At least drizzle a little oil on them to provide a sheen. As Janine so aptly put It: “Shoddy and sophomoric.”
Janine: I wound up ordering the beef tenderloin as an entrée. Medium well was the temperature requested. Really well done was the temperature served. You would think for $42 dollars they would at least cook it properly.
Chris: I went with the rack of lamb for an entrée. To the restaurant’s credit, the dish was spot on. The rack was frenched perfectly, then crusted with cracked black pepper and seared to an exact medium rare. It was served with rich and silky pommes puree and sautéed Spinach. The reduction that bordered the plate was delicious and velvety on the palate. My only observation would note the simplicity of the dish. Although executed with precision, the overall concept was very basic. True haute cuisine tends to be a little more complex by nature.
Janine: The dessert was also a disappointment for me. We ordered the sampling platter. It consisted of a little taste of Crème Brulee, Gelato, Ganache, a bite size Apple tart, and a Profiterole with an Ice Cream center. The Crème Brulee and Profiterole were good, but the Gelato had freezer burn. The Apple was a bit mealy and not fully cooked.
Chris: I liked the sampling platter. Janine’s observation about the apple was correct but tasty all the same. I was more concerned about the number of Apple dishes featured on the desert menu. Four out of the six selections contained Apples. In mid-summer, Apples aren’t in season in the mid-Atlantic region. The Apples available are either shipped in from South America or sitting for months in a storage locker somewhere. Either way, seasonal dessert selections would have been a better choice.
Janine: We will not be returning to Le Fandy anytime soon. Their prices are not comparable to the quality of food being served. We don’t mind spending the money that most higher-end restaurants command if the food and service is worth it. Unfortunately, we feel Le Fandy’s is not.
609 River Road
Fair Haven, NJ 07704