To review or not to review. A difficult choice sometimes. I enthusiastically, sometimes too much so, cover lots of places I like, and often, when invited to check out a new place that is not up to snuff or an old favorite that has, for whatever reason, morphed into something less desirable, I'll leave it out. Then there are times when I feel that the dining crowd at large and my virtual audience need to be informed.
Last night (pre-Prescription Old Cuban) I happened into Alain Dutournier's new(ish) Left Bank Pinxo. This neighborhood, (although this has been changing recently) is pretty much bereft of good dining establishments late in the evening, so this seemed a perfect spot. For those of you who don't know, pinxo in South Western French dialect means to pinch and describes small dishes shared between friends and family, which is the concept.
The funny thing about this place is that I just can't put my finger on what's wrong. I could mention the decoration , or lack of. I like sleek modern spaces, but this place just had a vibe that said bad design (beware the toilet which has a hand dryer that goes off when you're having a pee and threatens to spray the wall next to you). Then there's the food, which was...fine. Warm oyster starters and royal crab roll (which, strangely enough resembled the Sushi Shop version at twice the price) followed by handcut, foie gras topped beef tartar, wine that was presented to the table as "Chablis". Period. Um, thanks for the info.
I really wanted to like this place. Dutournier is a really nice guy and great chef and his Carré des Feuillants is a wonderful table. But Pinxo seemed a bit of a culinary cock-tease and I got a case of the gastronomic blue balls. And there's one point I'm going to totally leave out, but then again, I guess every restaurant has its scurrying critters.