539 East 81st Street, New York, NY 10028, 212-249-1473, www.leboeufalamode.net
We frequently pass this restaurant on our way to the upper east side river promenade. Although it's closed during the day when we walk by, it’s unusual, out-of-the-way location piqued our interest so we returned at dinner time.
The dining room is quiet and comfortable and the bar looks like a great place to meet for an intimate drink. Many of the other diners seemed like regulars but the crowd is geriatric to say the least. The prices raised our eyebrows but we wouldn’t have minded if the food was worth it. Sadly, it was not. Goat cheese salads were uninspiring with wilted greens, a lack of vinegar in the vinaigrette and less than fresh cheese. The Price Fixe is not a bargain if you want steak so we ordered filets from the a la carte menu. It’s hard to ruin good filets as long as you don’t overcook them but the accompanying frites were soggy and overly salty. Presentation is also lackluster with small amounts of food presented on very large plates.
From the dessert cart we had a chocolate mouse that was fine but boring and a horrible home-made cheese cake that was dry and had a bitter crust. Furthermore, the service was wooden and zombie-like contributing to the somewhat weird effect of this place. Overall we were extremely disappointed.