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Cafe Beaujolais for Bastille Day

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Cafe Beaujolais for Bastille Day

Panoz | Jul 15, 2005 12:49 PM

We decided to go to to the Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock for Bastille Day last night. It was so crowded that although we had late-ish reservations @ 9pm, we still needed to wait 15-20 minutes for our table. There were patrons dressed up in French peasant outfits. As we waited, we tried a few appertifs such as kir royale, the kir maison (red wine and cassis), and some type of sweet cognac, that I don't recall the name for.

When we were finally seated, the various appetizers that we had were the ceasar salad, the salad with mozerella, soup of the day - which was a cream of cauliflower, and I had the salade au fromage cherve chaud (salad with warmed goat cheese). The warmed goat cheese was spread on some baguette rounds. The salads and soups were generally very good.

The specials of the day was a ribeye steak, monkfish with lobster sauce, and chicken breast wrapped in puff pastry with a mushroom sauce.

We ordered the monkfish, the chicken breast, the filet mignon w/ frites and a beauolais (or bordelaise?) sauce, and I had the entrecote steak au poirve w/ frites.

Now, I am not French, nor can I speak it, but I like to cook and I have been to France several times. Whenever I spot a boucherie (butcher shop) and I spot in the meat case a huge steak with the card describing it as an entrecote, I recognize it as what we Americans call the ribeye steak.

Cafe Beaujolais's entrecote steak au poirve was using a New York steak, and a smallish cut at that. I also know that the proper way to prepare "au poirve" is to coat the meat with peppercorns before it gets cooked. This rendition was simply a cooked steak with a peppercorn sauce served on the side in a gravy boat. I was a bit disappointed with it, although it was cooked medium-rear as ordered, but generally flavorless. I reminded myself, that I should not get a steak at a non-steakhouse (although you'll never find a steak au poirve there).

We ended the meal by splitting a strawberry tart.

We had the meal with a bottle of Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Chateau Coutet, 2001 ($30). I thought it was closed and muted even after given some time to breath.

At one point the staff flashed the house light and began to sing the French national anthem. Many of the patrons joined in.

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