We just got home from an excellent dinner at Le Chantilly. I've been hearing good things about it since it opened a little over a year ago, but never got around to trying it until this evening.
It is a classic French restaurant of the type that Pacific Grove needs since Melac's closed. It is also a wonderful bargain. It is in an out of the way location that has seen one restaurant after another fail. None of them was of this caliber.
The menu is quite extensive and I was having a great deal of trouble deciding. I was leaning toward the Feullete Aux Champignons (wild mushroomswith cream sauce in a puff pastry) followed by either the Filets de Sole aux Amandes or the Bouillabaisse, when I was made aware of the daily 4 course special for $19.95. It consisted of Seafood Quennelles, Soup or Salad, Duck Confit, and either Creme Brulee or Chocolate Mousse.
The quennelles were very light and fluffy in a delicious cream sauce. The flavor was very delicate, my one quibble was that I thought they just a bit too gelatanous. The other appetizers at the table were Moules a la Bordelaise (steamed mussels in a shellfish broth). The broth was complex and garlicky with tomatoes. This was unanimously voted our favorite appetizer. The Escargots were very good and garlicky and just what you would expect.
The soup was Cream of Mushroom, and it was heavenly. I haven't had one this good in quite a while. The flavor of the mushrooms was very intense and perfectly complemented by the cream.
The Confit was perfect. The skin was as crisp as it could be and the flavor of the confit was superb. Two large pieces with a tower of very good mashed potatoes, and vegies, asparagus and roated bell peppers. The Ris de Veau a la Creme was very good. The sweetbreads were clean and tender in a very nice cream sauce. The Poulet a la Creme (sauted chicken in a Madiera and truffle cream sauce) was wonderful also. It brought back memories of the Chicken Supreme we used to get at A Papagalo's in Bologne.
We had both the Creme Brulee and the Chocolate Mousse for dessert both were excellent. The chocolate mousse was the best I've had in quite some time. It was rich and chocolatey with just the right balance between sweetness and fat.
I brought a 1990 Haut Corbin Saint Emilion, which went very well with the meal. I don't know if it is because we're locals, but we were not charged any corkage. After dessert he brought us complimentary glasses of a late harvest Gewurtztramminer that had been infected with botrytis. It was a very good finish to a delightful meal.
There were no waiters tonight only the owner Alain Dotax, who also acted as host. He had dropped out of the restaurant business for twenty years before coming to PG to open this place.
The total bill for 4 was $99 plus tip.
1120 Lighthouse Ave.
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