Dining at this restaurant was more of the man's choice than mine. Michael Mina's RN74 in downtown Seattle. Modern French cuisine with an extensive wine list American and French new and old world. I felt it was more hype than anything. I wasn't confident of the kitchen enough to take the degustation menu. A la carte it was.
Dinner was unremarkable and the menu, unexciting and pretty much what I expect from every other restaurant offering a similar branding/menu/style. It was exactly as I feared- too much salt, oil, cream and butter. RN74's take went big on everything and was extremely heavy-handed on the salt tonight.
The kitchen seemed unable/unwilling to go light on oil and salt even though I specifically requested for that. The server said it was already pre-set and she could try to tell them to go lighter. We had a sad side of Paris mushrooms in garlic, white wine and chives. Great mushrooms, salty sauce. And unfortunately, someone might have sprinkled salt on the whole dish just before serving because I bit into three mushrooms and all held whole chunks of salt bits. If what I tasted was considered 'lighter', then I have no idea what actual salt levels are.
It was odd to have them forget to serve the bread at the start. The truffled bread rolls were thoughtfully made and really good. But they only came when our mains did. Okay lor. Whatever. The roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, garlic gremolata and lemon confit was delicious! The French onion soup was erm.... chockful of oil. At USD14 for a bowl. But I guess that's typical of French onion soup. I'm not a fan.
The pan-roasted Mad Hatcher chicken was great, but so salty! Luckily we stopped the server from liberally pouring béarnaise sauce all over it and have it as a scoop on the side where it could be removed. Yes, it would have be brined, so the skin packed a total salt punch. The white meat turned out okay. The dark portions were too salty. Luckily the chanterelles were fine. Whewwww. They even managed to kill the crisp fish skin in my Alaskan halibut bouillabaisse with salt. Arrrrrgh. Luckily the fillet itself was beautifully seared. Loved that.
The produce was top-notch, cooking was beautiful, timing and done-ness perfect. The biggest issue- salt. IMHO, everything was over-salted tonight. WHY???!!! Perhaps my palate is lighter than most people, but RN74 could afford to go easier on the salt. Had to guzzle copious amounts of water to even it out. This was certainly not an impressive meal.