Yet another high-end chain restaurant has opened at the Domain. Toulouse purports to be a French-style bistro and from my first tasting they did a decent – but not spectacular – job. The Crispy Duck Leg Confit was the best dish I tried (though I have always preferred Thomas Keller’s version at Bouchon) and the Foie Gras au Torchon (the way it’s supposed to be made) came in a close second. Other dishes like the Steak Tartare and the Plateau de Charcuterie were average, lacking the personal touch one expects from a true French Bistro. Let’s put it this way: at first glance, Justine’s has nothing to worry about.
Ironically, there was a restaurant on West 6th St. back in the 80’s that was also called Toulouse. A chef named Hoover Alexander (perhaps the name will be familiar) presided over the kitchen. The place had more of a NOLA feel to it, but it was a spectacular restaurant. Ownership wrangling doomed it and it eventually closed, but what a run it had!