As my constant readers should well know, I have an affinity for French cooking. The robust flavors, the succulent sauces all bring a joy that is unmatched in any other cultures cuisine. Plus, there is always a duck dish available. So when Alice mentioned that she wanted to try Le Cafe Du Paris, I happily obliged.
For an appetizer I had the clams and Alice had an asparagus salad.
The clams were plump, delicious and plentiful
The asparagus salad was fresh and lively.
Let me say this: The clams were knock your block off good. I was actually amazed by the portion, as well. $8 bought me almost more clams than I could eat. They were served, simply, in their own juice mixed with some wine and scallions. Alice’s salad was shaved asparagus mixed with hazelnuts, fresh parmesan cheese and a vinaigrette. It was not what you would expect from French cooking. It was light and fresh and clean. We both were really impressed.
The steak was cooked to perfection.
The prosciutto wrapped canard.
The steak was cooked an absolutely perfect medium/rare. I am not the biggest steak fan (forgive me Idaho) but this was just delicious. It was served with a round of herbed butter that just added to the flavor of the meat. It was billed as a faux filet. It came with al dente green beans and onions, and these whipped, then fried potato puffs. I have to say that the potato puffs were almost inedible. The texture was there but they tasted of fry grease.
Alice’s duck was a bit overdone. the prosciutto was kind of like a hard shell. The duck wasn’t dry, but could have used less cooking. The flavors were all good but is seemed a bit of a shame. Also, there was no sauce. French cooking without sauce? Le Abhor. The fried spinach was a nice touch and the roasted red pepper risotto was well cooked if a bit boring.
For dessert, I ordered the chocolate mousse and Alice ordered a lemon infused mascarpone with strawberries and a chocolate cookie thing underneath. I really liked my mousse and Alice really liked her thingie. I though it had way too many things going on for its own good, but I am not a dessert fan for the most part.
The waitstaff was attentive, polite and nice. They were helpful in picking dishes.
Alice and I had a long discussion about the meal afterwards. The big difference between this place and Le Coq Rouge was that Le Cafe De Paris seemed bereft of sauces. All of the ingredients were there but the decadence was not. Everything was healthy and clean. In retrospect, I don’t think that was a bad thing. I really enjoyed everything I ate. Alice was expecting thick, heavy sauces and gooey cheese so ended up a bit disappointed. I get it. But I was also excited to explore this type of French cooking that I hadn’t experienced before.