We pondered a question of etiquette as our entrées arrived: Is it proper form to tip a can-can dancer? If so, where do you stick the dollar bill? We decided that, no, these girls weren't strippers in the making. Besides, we'd have been hard-pressed to reach for a dollar after a taste of my steak frites ($19), a half-dozen unappealing black sirloin tips that were gamier than a used garter. The flavorless red wine sauce pooled beneath them did nothing to mask their obviously past-due expiration date.

The French are supposed to be the masters of sauces, but I wouldn't have come to that conclusion after tasting the white truffle cream sauce gooped over a plate of wild mushroom ravioli ($17). "Try this," my friend Eric offered. "It tastes exactly like mud." He pushed some across the table in exchange for a twirl of pesto-drenched angel hair pasta ($13.50) that was watery and flavorless.

Then there was the unidentifiable. We flagged down one of the corseted waitresses to ask her what the grey-white mash was accompanying the roasted duck breast ($21). Turns out, the mixture was goat cheese and potato hash, dry and desiccated. The very same problem plagued a plate of pan-seared salmon ($17.50); whatever appeal the pink fillet had was lost, thanks to a pile of root vegetables and sweet onion puree that looked and tasted like one of the can-can dancers had rehearsed on top of it. The only entrée anyone enjoyed was a breast of roasted free-range chicken ($15.50), mildly juicy and paired with a mix of overcooked carrots and green beans. Still, you'd fare better getting a plastic take-away dinner from Boston Market and sticking a copy of Moulin Rouge! in the DVD player.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

Carousel Can Can Cafe

700 Rosemary Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: West Palm Beach

Details

Carousel Can Can, located in CityPlace, 700 S. Rosemary Ave., Ste. 228, West Palm Beach. Open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday till midnight. Call 561-833-6001, or click here.

I can see where El Sherif was headed with Can Can: Pair simple food with some titillating entertainment, and hope the revved-up CityPlace crowd makes the connection. After all, dining out is the great aphrodisiac — it's the place so many dates start and end, where romance and (more importantly) lust is born and nourished. But the place gets the spirit all wrong, and the food is break-up material. In the end, about the only people who'll get taken for a ride at Can Can are the customers.

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