I know, I know! Who wants to read about that Smith St. restaurant, reviled here regularly, known to have an annoying owner, and being far from new & exciting. So forgive me.
I had a reason to celebrate with my consort on Tuesday, and we were tired and it was near and it was open and we hadn't been there in 3 years. (I also have a weekness for their decor - the room with the fireplace.) So we went.
And it was good. Here's what we had:
- pumpkin/ginger soup with juniper creme fraiche - this was good, not great; the spicing was a little timid for my taste. Why don't more restaurants use juniper??
- house-cured duck breast on a bed of greens - again, a basic salad that was well prepared but nothing amazing
- skirt steak with French potato salad and mustard sauce - this was very good, medium rare as requested, the sauce went really well with the meat (I had just a bite)
- Texas redfish with celery root puree and Riesling sauce - EXCELLENT. This was a wonderful dish, the fish flavorful and firm, the celery root puree sweetish but well spiced, the riesling sauce tangy - a really nice mixture of flavors.
Dessert - we had the chocolate tart and the walnut tart (huge serving) a la mode, both desserts were good. We also enjoyed a bottle of Alexander Valley Chardonnay 2003 (recommended by the very pleasant waitress).
(The espresso sucked, unfortunately.)
All in all, this was a good meal. Maybe we liked it better than you might because we were happy, but I'd have that redfish anytime again. We also noticed that prices at Patois are in fact lower than at Chestnut, while I believe the quality is definitely comparable; the Grocery is far more expensive. The service was very pleasant. All in all, I think good ole Patois is a pretty good place, and if they learn to make a better espresso I'll definitely be back.
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