You’ve heard of the white glove treatment, but at Montclair’s newest French, Passionne on Walnut Street, we got the black napkin. Service is so attentive, that when the hostess noticed one in our party wearing a black skirt, she offered her a black napkin. Why, we asked? So her skirt wouldn’t get that any lint on it from a white napkin. It was a little gesture, but it said a lot about Passionne.
OK, sure, we know you’re saying. "yes, but you can’t eat a napkin." True, but you can and will eat Passionne’s wild mushroom tart with Gruyere and herbs, (and get your own, because appetizer portions are perfect for one, but a bit skimpy for two). We also sampled the foie gras, prepared with a Hannibal Lectoresque-fava bean puree and cassis reduction (yum). Entrees are generous and deliciously complex — lamb chops (above) with warm chick pea and goat cheese salad, Long Island duckling with a red currant reduction and below, the classic steak frites…
featuring hand cut pomme frites and sauce bearnaise. For dessert, we liked the creme brulee with a Passionne twist — laced with passion fruit. Mmmm.
Only one criticism — the fancy wooden box that arrives at your table holding the check, needs to come with some chocolates or mints inside. A check is no present.
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