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Le Charm brief report

Joan Kureczka | Jan 15, 200408:34 AM

I took the recommendation of Le Charm for my last-minute large business dinner and many thanks. I had never made it to this pleasant bistro before, and it deserves all the praises it's accrued over the years. It also still remains a tremendous bargain. The fixed price option is now $25 for three courses and you'd be hard pressed to do that elsewhere, nevermind as generously and well-prepared as these servings were.

We had a group of seven, and the restaurant was very accomodating. Service was efficient and friendly but not intrusive.

I began with a good frisee salad with warm goat cheese on a crouton. The dressing was very tasty and the salad garnished with chopped roasted bell pepper as well as cherry tomatoes. My main was a chicken cassoulet which came in its own enameled baking pot. It had a nice crust, lots of bacony flavored beans, chicken thighs and a good sausage. Very delicious, rustic dish.

Two of our parties had a beef pot au feu -- beef and veggies cooked in a rich beef broth that was also very tasty. This was served with cornichons, mustard and fleur de sel to add as the dinner desired.

My dessert was the weak link: tarte tatin with thicker apple slices and crust than I prefer... although the caramel sauce was rich and delicious. I had the opportunity to taste two other desserts: One was an orange creme brulee which my friends loved but I didn't. One was a Paris Brest -- puff pastry filled with hazelnut creme -- very very good. The third was a small almond frangiapane tarte, poached pear and chocolate sauce -- also fairly tasty.

I wasn't involved in choosing the wines, but we had two different Rhones. Both quite pleasant.

I will definitely keep this place in mind for the future. Parking was also easy for us and those staying downtown had a quick cab ride.

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