Through a series of comic events, arriving at the OC Performing Arts Center last night led us to Chat Noir. We had planned to dine at Turner's New Zealand, but ended up needing to be closer to the performance hall (no car, as we took Amtrak from Union Station)
We were prompted seated and immediately our travel weary bones were comforted with ice water and warm bread. We ordered a glass of champagne. It quickly arrived in two of the largest flutes I've ever seen. We were given ample time to peruse the menu. I felt as though our waitress would have brought everything out in five minutes or left us to our cocktails for an hour depending upon what we wanted.
We started with the crepes, which contained lobster, crab, shrimp and one other "fruit of the sea" which I don't remember. The crepe was lightly covered with Gryue and a bit of frisse. Amazing! Warm and rich, but not overpowering. The fish, mixed with spinach tasted extraordinarily fresh. We shared a glass of Bordeaux - I cannot recall the name, but it was the only one by the glass.
Our next gastronomic delight was an endive salad with walnuts and blue cheese. Amazing, although I'm sure the Silver Oak Cab helped that go down smooth. ;)
For the main course, we shared the rack of lamb served with pototoes and asparagus and a bowl of the french onion soup. While the soup was solid, it was nothing out of the ordinary. The lamb, however was in a league of it's own. Cooked perfectly rare (as requested), the meat was tender and succulent. The pototoes exploded in our mouths and the asparagus managed to stay crisp even amoungst all the juice from the meat.
It far exceeded my expectations. I really thought it would be a notch above mediocre and we left feeling it was not simply a restaurant convienent to the Performing Arts Center, but a destination in itself.
Oooh...caveat, no dessert, we had to get to the Bolshoi!