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Finally tried Josie for Farmers Market Prix Fixe Wednesday

LAmonkeygirl | May 19, 200503:32 PM

So, yes, I'd been wondering about this for a while, and, at $32/pp, it seemed like a good value for an aspiring but impoverished 'Hound.

I'll basically just discuss the food, since we've already discussed at length the quality of the service and atmosphere (both very good and professional).

Amuse bouche was the usual sliver of grueyere quiche served with a tiny fork, which definitely makes the quiche last longer. It's a nice way to start the meal.

Next was a frisee salad with roasted beets, which has become relatively ubiquitous but still tasty. Right away, however, I could tell that there was a difference between the usual menu and the "Farmers Market" special--size. We had a small mound of salad in the middle of large white bowls, definitely different in scope than if we had ordered off the menu. Sometimes I find that ordering an appetizer or salad can seriously dampen my appetite, but let's say that wasn't the case last night. I had wondered about how the size of the portions would compare to the regular menu, given that there are entrees on the regular menu that cost more than the whole Farmers Market three-course meal. And now I knew.

The entree was a trout fillet, pan-seared and crispy, served with a buttery sauce of fresh English peas, lima beans, a smattering of corn, another vegetable we couldn't identify, and a blob of green pea "butter" atop the fillet with some pea shoots as final garnish. A wonderful springtime dish, exceptionally fresh-tasting and the fish was crispy without being greasy or heavy, and a nice, mild flavor--very good for someone who doesn't like "fishy" tasting fish, such as myself. Both Z. and I finished our entrees, which is unusual since I am not a big eater. But, as the waiter said when he passed by our table, (I paraphrase) "I like the Farmers Market menu so much because you don't feel stuffed afterwards," which is true but also a polite way of saying, "The portions are much smaller than we usually serve." I felt mixed emotions about it because I do not care for the feeling of being overstuffed and uncomfortable (maybe I'm not worthy to be a Chowhound!), and I do feel like restaurant portions in general are too big, but I seldom dine out and while I know that I will probably get less food when opting for a prix fixe meal, it was hard not to feel sheepish and cheap when our smaller meals arrived, compared to the massive platters of food all the other diners were getting.

Anyway...dessert was a little strawberry tart: fresh strawberries in a light strawberry sauce, piled into a small (natch) crumbly pastry crust, with whipped cream on top. Again, exceptionally fresh and flavorful, quite vernal in presentation and taste, and easily polished off by me. Z. also finished his. Normally, we split a single dessert, but the scale of each tart encouraged us to consume them separately and entirely.

The total, with Z.'s small bottle of Chimay but leaving off my Pellegrino from the tab, was $87, including tax and tip.

So, if you want a nice, not overly expensive meal at a typically pricey establishment (i.e. $20-$30 for entrees) and don't mind going home later to round out the dinner with some dark chocolate M&Ms (which make great cookies, btw), then I recommend Josie for their Wednesday Farmers Market menu. Z. had a lovely birthday and I didn't cringe when weighing myself this morning.

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