L'Orangerie's knowledgeable staff is attentive, and the glassware is beautiful--fine-quality crystal with long stems.
Prices, especially for imports, are quite high, even for current-release items. Still, there are a number of affordable wines for those willing to search through the wine list.
Both the good white Burgundies and Alsatian white wines are fairly expensive, but there are a few reasonable California whites. I'd go for 1990 Navarro Gewurztraminer, $21; 1988 St. Clement Chardonnay, $28; 1988 Quivira Sauvignon Blanc, $20.50, or 1991 Groth Sauvignon Blanc, $21.
The best buys in red wines are also from California, among them 1982 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon, $47.50; 1986 Iron Horse Cabernet, $40, or 1989 Morgan Pinot Noir, $20.
The best buys among the imports are wines from the small, lesser-known Bordeaux houses. The best of these are probably 1979 Chateau Phelan-Segur, $41, and 1988 Chateau Fourcas-Hosten, $31. One real sleeper is Chateau de Tigne, $26, a Cabernet Franc-based wine from the Anjou region of France that goes well with salmon.
One of the best values is a dessert wine rarely seen on wine lists, 1990 Muscat de Beaumes de Venise from Chapoutier, $30. This wine from the southern Rhone Valley is a splendid accompaniment to fruit-based desserts.