18 Nov 2008 • 15 reviews • 0 follower
Had a great weekday night here, it's an authentic bistro in the traditional French sense - a bar offering small light dishes, as opposed to a fuller restaurant/bar setup.
All quite light dishes, but we still stumbled out of the restaurant with full bellies thanks to the generous portions and (I believe) free flow of bread rolls. I shared a planche of charcuterie ($18) and planche of cheese ($20), lots of bread, and good wine (about $12+ a glass) with another person, and we couldn't finish.
I'm a big fan of cold cuts and the charcuterie was excellent. They had a selection of two types of saucisson, smoked ham, and other types of cured meat. Butter was of good quality. For the cheese, they had an assortment of camembert, roquefort, beaufort, and a few more which I can't remember - but basically a well-rounded selection of soft, hard, strong, mild and blue cheeses.
Another companion had the goat's cheese salad, and for dessert I had creme brulee. All very good - the creme brulee is a must try. It's delicate, creamy but not cloying, just the right notes of sweetness and vanilla, and they do the burnt sugar topping just right.
My dining companions were a bunch of Frenchmen and they pronounced the food and wine comparable to the kind you'd get at a decent Parisien bistro, so I guess I'd take their word for it!
Competent, but a little brisk. There isn't an individual menu but a large chalkboard stand which the waiter plonks in front of you. I kinda pity the poor waiter who has to lug it up and down the stairs and to various tables! But he was quite obliging when we wanted to have second and third looks at the menu.
Very charming and they try to big up the whole French thing. So that means warm wood interiors, gold fittings, intimate lighting, lots of framed posters of old French advertisements for soup and bieres, and downstairs in the basement they have framed front pages of L'Equipe (French sports newspaper) for classic moments in their sporting history (e.g. 1996 win of the World Cup).
The basement below is nice and quiet, and they have a pool table as well. Get the table by the wall-mounted chalkboard if you're in a group, it feels quite cosy and you get to examine their extensive wine list at your leisure as well. My only gripe is that the music is not piped in below so it gets a bit too quiet sometimes.
All in all, this is an excellent place to have post-work drinks and the kind of dinner where you just slowly fill up on nibbles, instead of having a hearty sit-down meal. Also good for a chilled-out romantic evening, or late-ish dinner with friends. I'm not sure how boisterious this place gets during the weekend but you can always check it out, let me know because I'm definitely going to head back there :)