This is an expensive restaurant, even by N.Y. City standards -- with most entrees priced in the mid- to upper $30s. If there is any consolation, the wine list is more reasonable.
Judging from the entree prices, I'd have expected a high-quality bottle like Ridge's Three Valleys Red Zinfandel to be priced in the upper 60s or low 70s; it was $55. Not a steal, but not too bad in relative terms. There were no half-bottle options at Arnaud's, which is inexcusable for a restaurant of its reputation.
The food was very good, but not quite up to the prices. If I had to grade the duck breast au jus and blueberry sauce, I'd give it a B+ or A-. Likewise, the gumbo was very good, but not dazzling.
I had heard good things about MiLa so I went there earlier this week. But the restaurant's layout and ambience was soooo L.A. that it felt plain silly in there. (I thought if I looked under my table I might find O.J.'s isotoner gloves.) The menu also struck me as too fussy and self-important -- "horseradish jus"? And what, may I ask, is a "date reduction"? A date isn't a liquid -- so how does one reduce it?
I knew I'd have too many questions to ask about each entree, and I wasn't in the mood for a lengthy back-and-forth with a server. So I decided to leave and go to my favorite restaurant in the city. Maybe I should have stayed and given it a chance, but the vibe just seemed wrong.
The food at MiLa may be excellent, and maybe I'll give it a chance to dazzle me. But, for now at least, I believe that Cochon is the best damn restaurant in this city. I had rabbit and dumplings a few nights ago, and it was a subime dish. If Cochon improved the quality of its desserts, it would be a slam-dunk.