I had eaten lunch at Le Canard-Enchaine twice before with a business associate but I took my wife there for dinner for the first time this evening. I consider Le Canard to be in a league with the old La Caravelle and La C?te Basque (both of which sadly closed in 2004) and Lutece in Manhattan. Although pricey for Kingston, when viewed in comparison with its equals Le Canard-Enchaine is modest in price.
I must remark on the bread and butter, which are the best in the region. The French bread has a first rate crust and the butter is fresh and sweet. I would go to Le Canard-Enchaine for the bread and butter alone.
My wife had a Bacardi rum and cook and I had a Beefeater gin and tonic, both of which were excellent. The bartender is first rate.
I started with a green salad with apple and tomato. The dressing was excellent. I also had the vichyssoise, which was amazing. Elizabeth, the charming ma?tre d' mentioned that there is no cream used, which is mindblowing because the soup is wonderfully rich and flavorful (and low in calories too???). My wife had her favorite dish, escargot, for the appetizer and it was the best I've had, better than in Manhattan.
For the entree my wife ordered Duck a l'Orange, which was superb, flavorful and cooked exactly as she asked. I had a sliced sushi-grade tuna steak on an oriental-style salad with ginger that was exceptional as well.
The best part of Le Canard-Enchaine are the desserts, the preparation of which Jean Jacques oversees in the kitchen. No commercially bought desserts here. The creme brulee was first rate but the almond tort was mind blowing. I have never had a better cake anywhere. The espresso was excellent but my wife found the cappuccino a bit too strong for her taste.
The one real complaint is that my wife found the ambiance to be too dark.
One more point: the service is wonderful. Jean Jacques is charming as well as being a culinary genius (that was a commendation from the Parisian Le Cordon Bleu hanging on the wall, wasn't it?). Our waiter, Tony, is a wonderful guy, and Elizabeth, the ma?tre d' was unusually charming, as was the bar tender. The friendliness compounds the warmth from the fine food.
The price tab, including 3 drinks, two bottles of Saratoga sparkling water, three appetizers, two desserts, two cups of coffee and two entrees was $168.
Overall, I must give this place a rave review. Those in the region who are unfamiliar with French cuisine might consider Le Canard-Enchaine an educational opportunity. There is no better place to learn about French food.
Pros: Deserts, Soups, Appetizers, Entrees
Cons: Dark Ambience