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Rachel Hope | Jun 1, 200107:50 PM     4

More eating out before the door to such activities slams shut on me:

Last night we tried Belon and had a very good meal -- but the restaurant was eerily empty. I mean not even a third full. At eight o'clock on a Thursday night. I checked the chowhound logs and found that only in March Limster recorded a half an hour wait for a reserved table. Did I just go on an odd night, or is the restaurant decline really that bad?

Anyway, re the food. Neither my hubby nor the friend we were eating with like oysters, and I am not supposed to eat them in my current state (although I did have bbq's oysters in Point Reyes Station last week...), so we did not sample the raw bar. Looked nice when we walked in. Sigh...

I had the moules frites for an app and it was perfect. A huge heap of hot, salty, greaseless frites, executed better than in 95% of restaurants I'd say. Absolutely addictive, topped with some fresh mayo and parsley. The mussels were mostly plump and sweet, the broth light -- not distracting from the mollusks' flavor.

Hubby has a wilted spinach salad which was nice, and friend had a chopped green salad with french beans and sugar snaps, very light and fresh.

The entree list is extremely limited. There were only two fish!! either arctic char or salmon. I chose the char, which was fried in butter. It was, sad to report, nothing special. The fish simply wasn't flavorful enough to shine with that simple preparation. Although the accompanying morel gravy was very good (not quite as good as the one Tim made the other night, though). Hubby and friend both had lamb loin with green olives - good bistro food. My rather demanding hubby was especially happy because the plates on which the food was served were really hot -- his personal preference.

For dessert, I ordered a panna cotta, which came with spiced mango and this bizarre tracing of green gel -- might have been guava or something, but it had the flavor of the green gel in that toothepaste (aquafresh?). Texturally it reminded me of the gel inside that bubble gum they used to sell when I was a kid, which I am blanking the name of. Very weird stuff.

Anyway, this is a very good bistro, not ridiculously expensive, and it will be a sad loss if its forced to shut its doors.

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