Had a wonderful winter dish the other night at Rembrandt's, a bar-restaurant in my Fairmount neighborhood. It was called Garbure, and it's a cassoulet-like dish from the French side of the Pyrenees. Your basic white bean stew with some type of pork and/or sausage and some type of bird. Then topped with some bread crumbs and a touch of cheese before hitting the broiler. A slightly sunnier, brighter flavor than cassoulet. While the traditional version calls for the bird to be preserved goose (confit), Rembrandt's used an unpreserved, but nonetheless delectable chicken leg to go with the pork and sausage. It was a warming and perfect meal for a cold winter's night. My dining companions were pleased with their salmon, veal and filet mignon.
A few months ago my wife and I dined there and while I very much enjoyed my lamb, she ordered the liver. Unfortunately, it was terrible -- the liver was simply mush and tasted way off. She sent it back, and another piece came back out of the kitchen no better than the first. However, when she complained the second time and said, just forget out about, I'll eat the potatoes and vegetables, the staff and kitchen did the right thing: they insisted on replacing the liver with a steak, cooked to perfection, and charged us for neither the liver nor the steak.
PS: Liver has been banished from the menu.
In addition to the dining room, Rembrandt's has a fun bar with a good tavern menu.
Rembrandt's may not be quite as adventuresome as Jack's Firehouse or London Grill, two other neighborhood restaurants I enjoy, but it's a comfortable, relaxing, welcoming establishment that offers solid fare and an occasional treat like the garbure.
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