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PAMPLEMOUSSE FRENCH RESTAURANT ******        LOCATION: LAS VEGAS Website: http://www.pamplemousserestaurant.com/ I should probably start with the fact that Pamplemousse does not look like much from the outside, to be honest we even thought that the neighborhood was a bit dodgy… But once you come in you are transformed into a completely different world, namely a very cozy and romantic restaurant somewhere in the heart of Provence. The main room is decorated in a welcoming, intimate fashion, with little lamps giving off dim light, you know the kind that almost looks orange? They have several lovely alcoves with booths and we got lucky enough to be seated in one of them. There are also mirrors, black and white pictures, crisp, white tablecloths and fresh flowers everywhere. Even the standard tables are far enough from one another to give you some privacy in your conversation. The French music in the background provides the perfect addition to all the other ethnic elements. We were enchanted by this over the top, oh so ostentatiously “French” décor immediately; and our waiter only added to our overall entertainment. He was so pompous (but in a positive, endearing way) that we half expected him to start talking with a fake French accent mid- sentence or burst into a chanson just to make our experience there more authentic. Much to our regret he did not, but nonetheless he made a great fuss over us as well as a show of making us feel welcome and comfortable. We started with some French Chardonnay and the veggie basket, which really wasn’t that amazing. But the appetizer (Feuilette of Asparagus&Wild Mushrooms) and main course (Braised Lamb Shank with Red Zifandel, Onion, Mushroom and carrots with Garlic Mashed Potatoes) were simply delicious! The appetizer pastry was flavorful and delicate and the lamb so tender, it practically melted in your mouth. We truly enjoyed every bite and it took me back to all those wonderful occasions I was lucky enough to spend time in France... Also worth noting is the fact that they really do serve quite large portions, a lot bigger that you normally get in this kind of restaurant. So when the dessert came (palette of homemade sorbets) we were way too full to properly enjoy it, but it tasted just like a good sorbet should. Next time we shall visit this place equipped with a little cooler just in case there are some more incredibly yummy desserts of the melting kind left over from our feast. Oh all right, I am only kidding, would certainly not do to ask all those posh servers for an ice-cream doggy bag, now would it? My only complaint is that it took them ages to serve the main course, literally about 45-55 minutes. During this time nobody even came to apologize for the delay, only when the waiter finally brought the food he expressed his regret about taking so long. We did not really care since we were enjoying ourselves so much just talking, drinking wine and generally sniggering at the exaggerated Frenchness of it all, but I can see how somebody else might have gotten annoyed by it. Hence the 5 stars instead of 6 in my rating. But all in all I would still heartily recommend this place, especially for the more romantic occasions in life. So get all dressed up, grab your Dearest by the arm and spend an evening of some European glamour, complete with excellent food, schmaltzy music and  waiters so French, they will put most Parisian ones to shame despite their American accents :-). Or also quite possibly because of them. Works either way… Update: since my initial review I have been back several times and am very happy to report that each of these outings ended up being an excellent dining experience. And we actually got served by a real Frenchman with a great French accent, yay! I think his name is Pierre and he is the owner’s brother. So the quest of absolute and ultimate Frenchness has been fulfilled…
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PAMPLEMOUSSE FRENCH RESTAURANT ******        LOCATION: LAS VEGAS Website:  http://www.pamplemousserestaurant.com/ I should probably start with the fact that Pamplemousse does not look like much from the outside, to be honest we even thought that the neighborhood was a bit dodgy… But once you come in you are transformed into a completely different world, namely a very cozy and romantic restaurant somewhere in the heart of Provence. The main room is decorated in a welcoming, intimate fashion, with little lamps giving off dim light, you know the kind that almost looks orange? They have several lovely alcoves with booths and we got lucky enough to be seated in one of them. There are also mirrors, black and white pictures, crisp, white tablecloths and fresh flowers everywhere. Even the standard tables are far enough from one another to give you some privacy in your conversation. The French music in the background provides the perfect addition to all the other ethnic elements. We were enchanted by this over the top, oh so ostentatiously “French” décor immediately; and our waiter only added to our overall entertainment. He was so pompous (but in a positive, endearing way) that we half expected him to start talking with a fake French accent mid-sentence or burst into a chanson just to make our experience there more authentic. Much to our regret he did not, but nonetheless he made a great fuss over us as well as a show of making us feel welcome and comfortable. We started with some French Chardonnay and the veggie basket, which really wasn’t that amazing. But the appetizer (Feuilette of Asparagus&Wild Mushrooms) and main course (Braised Lamb Shank with Red Zifandel, Onion, Mushroom and carrots with Garlic Mashed Potatoes) were simply delicious! The appetizer pastry was flavorful and delicate and the lamb so tender, it practically melted in your mouth. We truly enjoyed every bite and it took me back to all those wonderful occasions I was lucky enough to spend time in France... Also worth noting is the fact that they really do serve quite large portions, a lot bigger that you normally get in this kind of restaurant. So when the dessert came (palette of homemade sorbets) we were way too full to properly enjoy it, but it tasted just like a good sorbet should. Next time we shall visit this place equipped with a little cooler just in case there are some more incredibly yummy desserts of the melting kind left over from our feast. Oh all right, I am only kidding, would certainly not do to ask all those posh servers for an ice-cream doggy bag, now would it? My only complaint is that it took them ages to serve the main course, literally about 45-55 minutes. During this time nobody even came to apologize for the delay, only when the waiter finally brought the food he expressed his regret about taking so long. We did not really care since we were enjoying ourselves so much just talking, drinking wine and generally sniggering at the exaggerated Frenchness of it all, but I can see how somebody else might have gotten annoyed by it. Hence the 5 stars instead of 6 in my rating. But all in all I would still heartily recommend this place, especially for the more romantic occasions in life. So get all dressed up, grab your Dearest by the arm and spend an evening of some European glamour, complete with excellent food, schmaltzy music and  waiters so French, they will put most Parisian ones to shame despite their American accents :-). Or also quite possibly because of them. Works either way… Update: since my initial review I have been back several times and am very happy to report that each of these outings ended up being an excellent dining experience. And we actually got served by a real Frenchman with a great French accent, yay! I think his name is Pierre and he is the owner’s brother. So the quest of absolute and ultimate Frenchness has been fulfilled…
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