Ahh. A new restaurant review.
We have been eating $1 frozen dinners for so long now that I was starting to enjoy them. All of the chemicals and preservatives they put in those things have been affecting my brain. That just isn’t right. So, I worked twelve hours of overtime this week just so we could out and properly enjoy ourselves with a good meal and a new experience.
We had found a website for an Old Central and Eastern European restaurant called tres bonne cusine. They hold a theme dinner every Friday and Saturday night concentrating on a different European country. Tonight’s theme was Germany. I absolutely love German food. Alice and I are big schnitzel fans. Tonight’s menu contained the king of all schnitzels: jagerschnitzel. More on this in a bit.
Tres bonne cuisine is locked away in a strip mall setting on Overland in Boise. Chances are the casual observer would never spot it. The outside of the restaurant is pretty unassuming. There are a few flags outside but it is still hard to spot from the road. When you walk inside it almost seems like a European convenience store with tables in it. I was happy to see about ten people milling about. That is always a good sign. Alice was impressed by the various foodstuffs that covered every wall. She could point out various delicacies that she enjoyed while she lived in Europe.
I thought it was nice but wasn’t floored until I walked in to the beer and wine room.
Did I mention that they had bottles of wine in the shape of swords in scabbards? Yep. This place was that cool.
O.K. o.k. enough booze porn. Let’s get on to the serious business of the food review. I do have to say that we were waiting around the place for a good twenty minutes before another couple saw our deer-in-the-headlights look and asked us if we were here for dinner. We said that we were. They laughed and told us to just grab a table and get comfy. It was another fifteen minutes before we saw our server.
Tres bonne has a prix fixe menu for $19.95 that includes a soup an entrée and a dessert. Tonight’s menu was:
Hirtensuppe a.k.a. Shepard’s soup
A choice of:
Jagerschnitzle which is a breaded, hammered cut of meat (in this case, pork) with a wild mushroom sauce with pasta and red cabbage.
Roulden mit spatzle und rotkol. This is a beef roll with pasta and red cabbage.
The dessert was Stolen. A.k.a. fruitcake.
We both ordered the soup and Jagerschnitzle. Usually, with such a limited menu, we would each order something different to give a more rounded review, but being such big fans of schnitzle, we couldn’t resist. I pared my dinner with a Lithuanian triple bock called Before-After.
They have soooo many beers on the wall that I just assumed that I would have to drink it warm. Not so. Barbara, our server and co-owner, let me know that she had a cold one for me. I assumed that it was a novelty beer as the label was an optical illusion of an ugly woman who turned into a stone cold fox when you turned it upside down. Not so. This was one of the finest beers I have ever tasted. My god. The flavor was predominantly citrus with a nice hoppy undertone. The beer was hardly carbonated at all. Just delicious. It just happened to pair extremely well with the meal to come, as well.
The soup came very quickly after we ordered. It was a heavenly, thick, rich meaty stew that was perfect for such a cold day. The flavors were familiar but I could not place them. They reminded me of my imaginary childhood that i spent as a hunter in Eastern Europe. It was just perfect. My only regret was that the cup was so small. Damn me and my American gluttony.
Soon after our soup cups were cleared our main course came. I was thrilled to see that the plates that they brought us were overflowing with food. $14.95 is a hell of a lot of money for poor people to shell out for a plate.
There were two rather large cutlets of pork, perfectly breaded and cooked to perfection. The hunters sauce made of mushrooms was complicated and rich. There just was nowhere near enough of it. The red cabbage was plentiful and satisfying. But the pasta? Oh the pasta. It was homemade and cooked to perfection. It was little, uneven, bits of heaven. Every bite was an exercise in texture and love. I left nothing on my plate. Alice was a little less impressed mainly due to the lack of sauce. I can’t fault her for that.
After dinner, Tom, our chef, brought us two shot glasses made of chocolate filled with Advocaat. Let me repeat that. Tom, our chef, brought us two shot glasses made of chocolate filled with Advocaat. Advocaat is a delicious European eggnog. Oh my. This was, easily, the best dessert I have ever had. I am not really a dessert guy but this left me begging for more. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but once I had gotten a taste…I gobbled it down, unbridled.
After dinner, we perused the wares and I found myself, once again, in the beer and wine room. By now, the majority of people had left and Tom was only too happy to go over his wares. He pointed out things I didn’t even know existed except in epic Viking poetry, like Mead. Mead is a honeyed wine that is absolutely delicious. How do I know this? Because Tom saw my interest and cracked open a bottle for me to taste. He also gave me a taste of Argentinean port wine. Also delicious. I can’t tell you how much of Tom’s passion for what he sold rang through. If I ever have a question about a European wine or beer I will immediately refer to him, without a second thought.
Tres bonne kept our dinner conversation revolving around our oft spoken about but never taken world-wind trip to Europe. We walked out of the place with an extra bottle of Before-After, various candies and a large package of blood sausage. We spent more than we wanted to but the fact that I have been sitting here writing this review for the past three hours and I haven’t lost any of the passion that I had for the place says something. So, cheers, Tom and Barbara. Thank you for dinner and the hospitality.
tres bonne cuisine:
6555 Overland Road Boise, Idaho