The space is beautifully lit, the decor gentle, and the atmosphere refined. Ladies night took us to Mes Reves, and if I hadn't driven there myself, I wouldn't have guessed the location to be 407 Broad Street, Bloomfield.
Upon entry, service was kindly and we were immediately seated. A large party of about ten had a long table in the center of the room, and our three top was near the window. Considering the reviews that were previously written, I had high hopes.
But the first inkling that our experience may fall short of the raves came with the bread and butter. It took longer than it should have to arrive at our table, and when it did the baguette was dry, flaky and served with butter that was overly sweetened. Then, the chef took our orders, which left me a bit perplexed, but I shook it off to exquisite hospitality measures.
Always a fan of fungi, I started with the mushroom tart appetizer which was bland and below my expectations. Next, the mussels; nicely sized, slightly sweet PEI's with a healthy amount of shallots, slivered garlic, and additional bread for dipping were satisfying. The third appetizer, escargot, was pleasing and favorite among the appetizers.
One of my companions ordered the rack of lamb priced at $38, and served with couscous, ratatouille, and a shallot bordelaise sauce. It was, as my companion declared, "extraordinarily average." My entree, the seared duck breast ($24) with almond wild rice, and grilled endive, was overly sauced with port demiglace and offered little by way of texture or flavor.
The biggest erreur occurred when the steak au poivre ($28) arrived. About three bites into the purported NY strip steak, served with green peppercorn bordelaise sauce and truffle fries, my companion cut into a sinewy red vein that continued through the piece of meat, just as you would find in a vein steak. The dish was so unappetizing and inedible, and it was ultimately removed from the bill.
Overall, Mes Reves did not rise above average that evening. Unfortunately, the price point communicates a level of cuisine that does not equate with the food served. We opted out of dessert and headed down to The Orange Squirrel for some of Francesco Palmieri's "Dirt."