We also had the Tarte Tatin for dessert, it was solid, maybe a bit too "caramely" though, lots of teeth picking. The thing that I loved about the food menu is that there seemed to be a lot of good choices at reasonable prices.
the pear tarte tatin is definitely over the top -- a sweet, smashed, delectable bun with soft and chewy caramel reminiscent of ann amernick's and just about as good, with enough of it on your plate that you could rake it up into a few pieces of candy. i believe there was also ice cream melting feverishly all over it. if you think you can't handle it and you're looking for something more delicate, i heard from across the table nothing but praise for the wild strawberry sorbet.
we found the portions here more than generous and, like central, this is a place where it may take more than one visit to avoid walking in with eyes that are far bigger than your stomach. steaming hot mussels as big as cats' tongues heaped into a heavy enameled cast-iron casserole are easily enough for two to share, as are the fries that come with them. everyone here seems to like the curry mayonnaise the best of the three offered, and i guess i agree, but they're all birds of a feather, one does just about as well as the next, and the potatoes were excellent. the choucroute en croute looks enormous in the photos above, but it's not that big and you'll want to keep almost all of it to yourself, the best ballpark food in the world wrapped into a pot pie. i fall for it every time: when the server places a nearly empty bowl in front of me, for a second i forget what i've ordered, and just as i'm beginning to make sense of what i'm looking at, he pours in the pea soup, flooding the bowl, turning small veal meatballs at the center, anchored in potato, into islands of sharp meaty flavor you're tongue can swim back to, intensifying the soup. this pea soup is not as thick as pea soup, and it's hardly drab.
i can't explain exactly why, but the restaurant space feels like europe to me and successfully manages to conquer what is really nothing more than a big tall chunk out of the corner of a modern office building. it is cheerfully austere all the way up to the exposed ceilings. the backs of deep blue banquettes are embellished with a lively pattern of long-stemmed flowers, as assertively modern yet as comfortable and beautiful as something dutch designer hella jongerius might embroider into one of her experimental ceramic pots. a towering panel of snowflake lace creeps up a column by the window, but i never got close enough to see what it was made of, maybe an etched acrylic. the train station clocks are dramatically intrusive, but then reassuringly playful because you don't have to abide by them, you're not heading on to antwerp or bruges; this is your destination.
the open kitchen on your way out is so open you can just walk right into it, but it is so crowded with activity that you hang back, slow down, take a hard look, and it turns into the most energetic theatre as you sort out the players and move reluctantly past the boisterous bar and toward the street.