A recent mid-week splurge at Restaurant Taquet offered the reminder that tradition is nothing to turn up your nose at—especially when it’s packaged as impeccable service, first-rate cuisine—in this case, classically prepared, contemporary French fare—and stately ambiance. Entrées range from $19 to $29 (bistro menu), but the Taquet experience is as luxurious as its high-end price point.
The appetizers shine, with harmonious combinations of sophisticated and more-often-than-not seasonal ingredients such as foie gras with braised Belgian endive and rhubarb-port wine sauce; melt-in-your-mouth Ahi tartare with avocado mousse and piquant cumin crisps; and jumbo lump crab meat topped with corn and mango relish and a robust raspberry purée.
Notable entrées include meaty, succulent Barnegat Light sea scallops—closer to filet mignon than shellfish—stacked on a snow-white bed of creamy Parmesan risotto and embellished with a mellow sweet pea coulis. The New Zealand rack of lamb offers four noble chops—medium rare, tender and moist—fanned out over a pool of Gorgonzola polenta accompanied by sautéed spinach and a mellifluous rosemary-veal stock sauce.
Smoked salmon, caviar, duck confit, rainbow trout and calves liver are also on the menu—proof that neither chef de cuisine Clark Gilbert nor owner Jean-François Taquet have been swept away by mod culinary trends. As a romantic nightcap destination, Taquet is sublime—especially when it involves one of the restaurant’s decadent desserts (we recommend the bittersweet chocolate mousse on a palette of hazelnut crunch) and a vintage port or chilled bubbly.
139 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 687-5005, taquet.com.