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Restaurants & Bars 4

Bizou (not quite long)

rcc | Feb 10, 2003 01:19 PM

The wife and I went to Bizou, for the first time, on Friday night with a reservation made through opentable.com.

Parking can be tough, but not as difficult to find as, say, street parking in Nob Hill, Chinatown or Financial Districts, but we eventually found a street spot about 2 blocks away.

I read somewhere that the restaurant had been described as "belle epoque-ish" and I am not exactly sure what this means. However, to us, the restaurant looked like one of those that you will find in non-tourist districts (arrondissement) of Paris. Not overwhelmingly grand in design, but with enough charming European (mostly French) decors and furniture that overall lend themselves to a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.

The service staff were sufficiently attentive. Our wait staff was knowledgeable with the menu items and will gladly provide suggestions when asked.

As for the food, we ordered the Seared Foie Gras and the tuna carpaccio (sp?) for appetizers. My wife and I agreed that the Foie Gras was very good and well-prepared. It also paired nicely with a glass of Oregon Pinot Gris that we ordered. I found the tuna carpaccio to blend well with the bursting flavors of the fish roe that came with it, but, all the blood orange and another kind of orange that were slathered on it seem to overwhelm the dish.

Our entrees consisted of the Braised Pork Belly for my wife and Beef Cheeks for me. The beef cheeks was, to put it plainly, something I would order as a first-timer and would opt for other items the next time around. Perhaps, this is due to my excessively built-up expectations of the dish and also my preference for sauced non-dry dishes. Compared to the beef cheeks, the Braised Pork Belly was definitely the winner. The dish was well-accompanied by the pea and celery vegetables, as well as by the excellent sauce.

Our shared dessert called Vacherin (sp?) proved to be a great finale. The ice cream on meringue with chocolate sauce will linger on my mind for a while.

We brought along our own bottle of a Santa Cruz Pinot Noir, and we were out the door with about $130 tab.

Overall, not a bad night. But not a great night, either. It's just the perfect night out to enjoy a quality, well-prepared meal in a quiet and comfortable setting. I look forward to more nights like these.

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