It's been just about 6 months since my friends and I experienced some disastrous service at (my formerly beloved) Caprice, and I had pretty much written the place off until who-knows-when. None of my regular crew were going back any time soon, so it ceased to be on my list of dining choices.
But I got a ping from The Man in the White T-Shirt last week, asking me whether I'd wanna go to Caprice to have lièvre à la royale. I have a special place in my heart for this dish, and we had shared a spectacular version of it at Amber last year. So the three of us showed up for lunch today to see what the kitchen can do.
When I first sat down and looked around the room, at first I was amazed that I did not see a single familiar face. Thankfully that changed when Timothy came over to greet me... and soon Sebastien Allano - as thin as always - also came by. A little bit of that warm and fuzzy feeling came back.
Sebastien was kind enough to offer us some Champagne to start, and poured us some of my favorite Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru. This bottle was disgorged in July 2015 after 48 months on lees. Nice and crisp on the palate, still very young and vibrant, and a little yeasty. A little on the lean side at first, but the finish displayed more ripeness with a little time. After the temperature warmed up more, and after mouthfuls of oyster and caviar, this became much more full-bodied. Delicious.
I knew the kitchen wouldn't let us off so easily, given that they've recently gotten themselves a brand new pastry chef. Sure enough, Chef Nicolas Lambert delivered three deserts to our table.
This was a fantastic meal. In my two previous visits after Chef Fabrice Vullin's arrival, I had been impressed by the quality level of his cuisine. Today the kitchen took it up to another level, and we gave our compliments to Chef Fabrice and Sous Chef Jonas Noël. As for the desserts, I do agree with what The Man in the White T-Shirt said: in all these years, the desserts at Caprice had never looked as pretty as they do now.
(Un)fortunately for me, it seems there is now another chef in town besides Uwe Opocensky who has tried to kill me with too much food...