If I've reviewed this restaurant before, apologies, but a great restaurant that has maintained it's standards for years deserves a re-look.
When we eat in France, we never go "haute-cuisine" but choose neighbourhood bistros where steak-frites is a menu mainstay. This place feels like you're in Paris. It's a long narrow space, gorgeous long wooden bar along one side, high ceilings, lots of tables, lots of wood. Place is vibrant, always full, lively conversations often between patrons at the bar or between tables. Only thing missing from France is the gorgeous Parisians with their little dogs under the tables.
Now the food. Starter salads are made with local greens. I love the endive salad with apples and hazelnuts. Mussels in three different broths to choose from. Lovely baguette to dip into said broth, or with a pad of perfect temperature (firm but not too hard) European style butter for those without broth. The steaks- always perfect. Tasty, tender, with roquefort butter on top. And, of course the frites- fancy or plain- thin cut, fresh cooked in hot good quality oil- mayonnaise dipping sauce on the side. Vegetables? No- remember this is Paris! Desserts can be a selection of cheeses (local and away)- best ordered earlier to get to room temperature. I've had the creme brulee (perfect) but last night was salted chocolate torte with caramel sauce- need I say more? Selection of beers from all over. Wines by the bottle or glass from different regions of France.
But what is most outstanding about this place? Service, service, service. All the servers very able, professional, friendly. They work cooperatively to get your food out when it is hot. However, what separates this place from others- the owner- Mark- is ever present. Greets you at the door. No reservations taken, but he'll take your name, cell phone, you can wander about and he will call you when a table or seat at the bar is ready. Last night we elected to sit and order a cocktail, he told us it would be 30 minutes, but sat us in less than 10- "I can't count" he winked. He is constantly scanning the restaurant, talking with patrons, making sure everything is "just so". And it is. We left last night when he wasn't at the door. We were partway down the block in the rain, he ran out after us, thanked us, and made sure we were happy.
Now that's a restaurant!
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