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Bistro Maison in McMinnville...


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Bistro Maison in McMinnville...

Nick | Sep 6, 2004 03:17 PM

Stopped here for lunch on the way to a wedding in Lincoln City yesterday.

It's a nice little place in a house with a patio area on the main drag in McMinnville. The lunch offerings are mostly around $10. Similar offerings are mostly around $17 for dinner. It's very typical French bistro -- confit, coq au vin, steak au poivre, quiche, etc.

My wife and I split the soup of the day, a fennel bisque, for $6. It was tasty, creamy, with a pronounced but not overwhelming fennel flavor.

She got the quiche of the day, salmon with chanterelles and mustard for $9. It came with a green salad. The quiche itself was a bit dry and had an overwhelming fishy salmon flavor, even for my wife. A lot more chanterelles and a lot less (and better) salmon would have gone a long way.

I got the coq au vin for $10. Kind of a small portion for $10, about the size of a typical bowl of soup with a small thigh and leg. Afterall, it's just a chicken stew and a healthy portion should be standard, even for only $10. (Think about the portion of stew you'd get at Pambiche for $10. Sure it's Cuban as opposed to French, but the ingredients aren't any more expensive.) The flavor was decent, not as intensely meaty as I would prefer, but it was pretty good. There was a good portion of mushrooms in the bowl, though, and they were nice.

For dessert, we split one of the specials that was recommended by our very pleasant server. It was a plum cake topped by a scoop of hazelnut ice cream. The ice cream tasted good, but was possibly a little icy. The plum cake was almost like a bread pudding and the bland flavor of the custary cake was nicely balanced by the tangy plums. A good dessert.

Overall, it's a decent place, but certainly not a destination. It's worth going to if you're in the area, but I'd rather go to Carafe or Ken's for bistro food myself (after only one visit). It's been too long since I ate at Tartine and there've been some recent negative reports, so I can't make a good comparison. But they've got the most similar food and style. (I'd have to look through my menus, but I think Tartine might be a little cheaper.)


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