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Restaurants & Bars 6

Chat Noir (Costa Mesa) for Lunch Yesterday

torta basilica | Mar 25, 200510:44 AM

My fellow shopper & I wanted a light late lunch & since she had never been to Chat Noir & loves all things French, we decided to do that (& the fact that there was no salad with buratta on the Troquet menu - major deciding factor for me!) Never been there during the day, but at 2 pm we were seated immediately & very few other diners (none looked like business lunches ;-) - a lot of romantically shared chocolate souffles...

Nice friendly service, but I hate it when waiters say something very obvious in French, like 'soup du jour,' or 'poisson du jour,' then translate it into English like you're really stupid. Anyway, we decided to split the onion & bacon flambee tarte ($10) & had 1 shrimp cocktail (?) & a seafood Louie ($22). Ordered a carafe of French fume blanc ($21). Menu was exactly the same as Rouge's lunch menu, with the exception of no foie gras - I was a little sad about that...

Onion tart was excellent - buttery, smoky bacon, carmelized onions, with a perfectly dressed frisee salad on top to cut down on the greasiness factor. I wish I'd just ordered this for my entree as it was well enough for a light lunch. Didn't taste the shrimp cocktail, but it looked a little tired & I didn't hear any raves. Wouldn't order the Seafood Louie again - it's very big, with mushy bay shrimp, tasteless crab & lobster, nicely steamed asparagus & haricots vert, egg, tomato - the usual. Dressing was bland & boring. Lunch came to over $65, which seemed steep, but the atmosphere was lovely, service good & I'll be back for that tarte & wine!

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