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bandit | Apr 18, 200512:55 PM     10

We went with high expectations, due to favorable posts on this board, so maybe if we weren't looking forward to a romantic and amazing meal, it might have been better?? I will take my money back to Chapeau any day for romantic or really (heresy I know but I like it) Chez Papa for that matter.....

It started with the hostess, who was initially overbearing but I could have looked past it has she actually listened to my question before interrupting me with an answer to a question I didn’t ask. We each ordered an appetizer and entrée- I had the beet & mache salad and the sole, my gf had tomato soup and the steak frites.

Beet & mache salad- it was good, nothing great and only about 2 sprigs of mache. Had there been more mache the overhwhelming vinegar from the beets might have balanced. I think Chez Papa’s version of the beet salad is worlds better, no overwhelming flavor while still including the same amount of beets. After about 2 bites, I felt like I was back at thanksgiving at my grandmothers with just one flavor, which turned me off of beets in the first place.

Sole- This was well prepared, crusty on the outside and tender, the mashed potatoes were awful, no texture, no flavor, literally could have come out of a can, I mean just bland. Having experience with variations on a theme of “french” potatoes bistro or otherwise, it just fell flat. And I hate to pay $17 for Sole, if I am going to pay that much the “accoutrements” better be good. It said there was a lemon butter caper sauce, but I swear it was an accident or omission from my plate, only the presence of capers and a well of oil underneath the potatoes would attest there was any sauce at all...on the other hand, knowing it’s a French Bistro I didn’t expect much for the fish but at least at Chapeau they delivered a much better and well executed fish option- as does Chez Papa.

Tomato soup- this was the best part of the meal, deliciously creamy, well balanced flavor and a very nice puff pastry on top, only if everything else had been at least this good.

Steak Frites- what happened we will never know but I have had lots of steak (being from texas) in my lifetime and that was about the most awful piece of meat I have ever tasted. My gf is really the meat eater in the family though and she too was sorely disappointed. Since I don’t eat meat very often, almost never, she rarely eats it at home and was unfortunately really looking forward to it…The texture was ok but too overdone on the outside and too underdone on the inside for medium rare, you could definitely tell it was prepared on an indoor fake grill of some sort and the fries were just so freaking unimpressive. Nothing about the fries was worth the calories, which is how I judge fried food. They were a bit larger than I expected and just so ordinary and I love fries- all kinds of fries but again, just lacking…

We decided the Steak Tartare would have been a better option, if you have to go there to eat and we skipped dessert heading to Delfina for their panna cotta and crostata which were as always suberb…

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