Wonderful Birthday Dinner

Tuesday I had the privilege of celebrating the birthday of the most wonderful and beautiful person in the world. My wife. Tonight’s choice of venue was changed by the recommendations from some of hers co-workers. I was surprised to learn we were headed into town to visit the new French Restaurant. The former location of El Bistro which I was sad to learn is no longer there. I thought that was the best hidden gem as far as food goes. So they have big shoes to fill and we’re excited for the evening.

It turns out they do French inspired cuisine which is generally rich and comforting and leaves you quite happy afterward. Not much has changed inside really. One of the best features of this place is that it is quite small. It’s not crowded and noisy and full of idiots. It offers a quaint romantic ambience where you can spend hours enjoying food and getting lost with love while staring into your partners eyes. Oh geez……I think I’m tearing up a little. sob Anyways…..heavy metal and explosions…….ok we’re back!!! Our server was great. She was polite, well mannered and knew what she was talking about. She informed us of all the specials and answered all questions we had about the food and wine. She stopped by often while we were deciding on our menu and continued to do so throughout the meal but not in an annoying “chew-her-gum want-ketchup-with-that” way. We chose a wine, sampled it and we were in business.

After what most would consider a lengthy wait our food arrived. I appreciated the wait. If I’m taking my smokin’ hot wife out for dinner I want to enjoy our time together and savour the moment. Which we did and it was great. There was no rush and it was about the experience rather than eat quick and go. The menu is great. Very traditional and definitely comfort food. Meat, potatoes, veg, jus……all these things are great when executed well but can be horribly blah when done wrong.

I ordered the pommes frites with aioli to start. She ordered a grilled sourdough which came with fresh pesto, fire-roasted tomatoes and local goat cheese from Days Dairy. The most french thing I can come up with to describe this would be…..dunk my balls in cream and squat me in a room full of kittens!!! I could have died right there knowing I had just eaten the best fries I’ve ever had. EVER! Unbelievable. They were sizzling hot and stayed that way for an abnormal amount of time. Wrapped in paper which displayed zero signs of grease when finished. Seasoned to perfection. And the aioli was fresh and garlicy and delicious. Absolutely amazing. Her dish was equally delightful. There is something special about artisan bread that is so crusty on the outside but pillowy soft on the inside……..the bread just melted away. Grilled to a light char and paired perfectly with the pesto, and tangy goat cheese. I’m not a big tomato fan so I skipped those nasty little buggers but they did look and smell great!

Main course – go!!! It took us a long time to decide on the mains. I opted for the trio of lamb while she rocked the beouf bourguignon. Both were outstanding. The lamb was two pieces from a rack, a braised leg and a potato layered with lamb. It started with an M but I forget. Everything was cooked perfectly. The rack was medium-rare with a beautiful crust, the leg fell apart and was moist throughout and that layered piece of goodness was unbelievable. It added a great textural element to the dish and was topped with a sour cream and mint sauce. The vegetables were amazing, almost undercooked but the way they should be. Full of flavor and vibrant. Not some soggy limp things flopping around on the plate. Her dish was nearly stew-like and preparation. Steaming hot with mushrooms and carrots. The beef, like the lamb, just fell apart was full of flavor. It was an excellent meal.

There is nothing more satisfying than a fantastic dinner experience. This place offers that and a wee bit more. I was blown away by the quality and simplicity of the food and the preparation and cooking was masterfully executed. Service was great and prices were reasonable. The wine may have been a bit high in price but I wouldn’t even consider that after this meal. Please check this place out. It is great and you will love it.

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