L’Etage is the perfect date night dining venue. It is conveniently located in the centre of town, but accessible only by an inconspicuous door next to the main restaurants up a cavernous stairway and through a velvet curtain. There you will find a small intimate room of dark wood, red accents and a view of the arts museum. MD had pre-ordered the four course lobster menu plus dessert (two desserts in fact).
Course number one was white fish and lobster cooked in butter with a coriander garnish. A solid execution for a classic combination.
The next dish I struggled with slightly as one of my very few dislikes is artichoke. This inspired discussion about dislikes – are they chemical, biological or just in our heads? There must be something physiological as I didn’t even register I disliked artichokes until MD pointed it out (noting the element in common of dishes I have not liked), so I clearly can’t have a problem with the vegetable itself. Back to the point, the lobster here was served in almost raw slices on top of artichoke puree with asparagus and mustard greens. All this with a pearly spoonful of caviar that I can see why is such a delicacy with its palatable saltiness and satisfying texture.
Fortunately the third course knocked it out of the park with aquarello risotto and lobster claws and pea sprouts. Somehow the risotto was warm and buttery without veering too creamy or mushy, delicious!
In addition, we got a second helping of the delicious bread baked served in individual pots that retained heat.
The final course was lobster tails served on a grill with garlic and super tasty roasted baby potatoes.
Desserts come two at once, and rumour has it you are not leaving until both are eaten. Fortunately, the rich 70% chocolate with rhubarb and fresh tart red fruit parfait were both easily devoured.