Cool concept. Walking in to Thermidor, located in the ever-expanding culinary bastion of Mint Plaza, feels like stepping onto the set of Mad Men. The hostess was dolled up in a dress with a bow and could easily pass for a Don Draper conquest. The wood-panel decor nails the mid-century-modern vibe that has dominated the design world in recent years. This is the latest concept venture of Spork's Bruce Binn and Neil Jorgenson.
The food continues the theme with unwavering dedication. Though I barely touched the 60's, I still recall dishes like pommes Dauphine, celery Victor, scallops Newburg and sole amandine. I was excited to see chicken Keiv, one of my favorite indulgences from childhood, and Lobster Thermidor, the namesake and specialty of the house.
While the food was good, I think they are missing the boat at Thermidor. Most of the dishes we tried came out very traditional versus the modern interpretations I was expecting. It seems they are taking the theme somewhat too literally for my preference. I would have like to have seen them reinvent the form (perhaps unleash the Voltaggio Brothers on the menu?). Deconstruct!
The Pommes were fried potatoes, pretty straighforward. The Caesar salad was creamy, despite my inquiry and assurance that it was traditional style. The standout app was a potato chip with smoked fish, roe and créme fraiche. The mains didn't go much further than advertised, though the Sole Almondine did have a nice gnocchi accompaniment. The Lobster Thermidor was tasty enough, but again, lacking innovation and a painfully small portion at $32.
The cocktail menu actually delivers on the concept. Brooke Arthur has updated classics in a way that should inspire the kitchen. I'd come here for a drink anytime, and maybe jump over to 54 Mint (the authentic Italian place across the plaza) for dinner.