After a weekend of asados and steaks, I was in the mood to go somewhere that offered a bit more than a bife de chorizo and a provoleta; step up Cluny, which I had read boasted a menu of European cuisine and not a parilla in sight. The first thing you notice as you walk in is that it has definitely been designed with Palermo in mind; the restaurant has a chic feel to it, lots of deep white leather seats and black tables. However unlike a lot of Palermo restaurants service was attentive from start to finish, usually you have to fight for a waiter’s attention but at Cluny there was always one around to help you out, a good start there then.
The first read through the menu was promising; salmon tartar, scallops, and octopus all stood out as starters as well as some enticing raviolis and risottos for main. I went for battered spider crab’s legs and Mrs. ETLs went for the octopus. As is usual for us, she ordered better than I did. I imagined my spider crab to have long thin legs that had been lightly coated in bread crumbs, what arrived were chunks of breadcrumbs that more closely resembled fish fingers than crab legs. They had way too much coating on them and lacked any real flavor although I did enjoy the avocado mousse that came with it. The octopus on the other hand was a lot better, it had a nice grilled flavour to it and wasn’t rubbery at all. I hate it when I get food envy!
I am afraid to say that I made the same mistake for mains; I had read that Cluny’s signature dish was lamb “cooked two ways”, this turned out to be a grilled rack of lamb and a slow oven cooked shoulder. I had asked for the rack to come pink, but sadly it came out completely over cooked and tasteless. The shoulder was a lot better, soft and full of flavor but I was so cross about the rack that I still didn’t enjoy it that much. Mrs. ETLs went for lamb ravioli in a creamy thyme sauce that was fine but nothing particularly amazing.
I decided not go for pudding as I didn’t trust myself to order well, so we just got the bill. For the amount we paid, I certainly felt short changed by Cluny. Although the service was great and the place looked nice, the food was severely under par, when you shell out 95 pesos for a main you really expect it to blow you away but I didn’t enjoy my lamb at all. For this price I would say that there are quite a few restaurants that are better than Cluny and I won’t be coming back any time soon.