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Report: L'Auberge Chez Francois (long)

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Report: L'Auberge Chez Francois (long)

AL | Aug 16, 2004 10:39 AM

Had a wonderful dinner at Chez Francois on Saturday night. This restaurant is a true gem. For those willing to venture out to the country, it is well worth it. (Four courses: about $60 pp, without wine.)

We were part of the later seating (8:45 res), but got an excellent corner table for four. This place really gets the ambiance thing right, as others have pointed out a number of times. Hubby and I had been there before, but our friends had not. They were thoroughy impressed.

Service was fantastic -- attentive without being obtrusive. Wine/water glasses were always filled at the right times.

Starters at our table:
* I had the charcuterie plate -- nice selection of pates, sliced sausage and salads (cucumber and beets).
* Our friends both had the lobster bisque and raved about it.
* Hubby had the boulliabase, which he also raved out.

Amuse 1: quiche -- creamy, smoky, cheesy -- everything a quiche should be.

Salad course:
* Two of us had the tomato salad -- a perfectly ripe summer tomato, sliced, with a lovely shallot viniagrette.
* One had an ordinary-looking green salad.
* Hubby had the duck salad special (with upcharge) -- a cube of pate, sliced duck breast and duck leg with endive and other greens. Lovely.

Amuse 2: raspberry sorbet -- fruity and refreshing

Entrees:
* I had the red snapper in puff pastry. This is a signature dish, which I've tasted before, but never ordered myself. Wow -- nice flaky fish, lovely sauce and delicate pastry.
* Hubby had the Dover sole special -- came stuffed with spinach and accompanied by lobster. Really nice.
* One of us ordered the ribeye special. Cooked medium rare, it was described by our friend as "the best piece of meat I've ever had." Every bite apparently melted in his mouth.
* Last person ordered the scallops and enjoyed them every bit as much as the rest of us enjoyed our entrees.

Dessert:
* Many suggested the hazelnut souffle, which I was going to order, until someone else at the table beat me to it. So, I went with the raspberry souffle. It was sweeter than the hazelnut, but better IMO. Both were VERY good.
* Hubby had the cheese plate and port, which had a great selection of French cheeses.
* Last guest had a pretty ordinary slice of chocolate cake.

Two bottles of moderately priced white wines with dinner -- an Alsatian riesling and a white burgundy. We don't usually order white wine with dinner, but "when in Rome..."

All-in-all a fantastic meal -- I look forward to returning.

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