Classic bistro food on a cold winter night is definitely comfort food. Pair that with a warm, comfortable ambience, excellent service and interesting beer/wine lists and you have the makings of a winner in my books.
The ambiance is worth mentioning because it's so well-suited and comfortable. Semi-circular booths adorn one side (my fiance sat in one of those), while private slightly enclosed 4-seaters line the other side of the room. On to the food. We were provided with thinly sliced fresh baguette and a grape tomato dipping sauce to start. For appetizers we shared a calamari plate, beautifully presented and perfectly tender, and escargot. I don't think I had tried escargot in 15 years, possibly in part because I remember them as being chewy. These, however, were tender and succulent, further enhanced by their accroutements - the escargot sat on a round roesti, lathered with goat cheese.
For mains, I had the braised short ribs (w/ Pommes D'ana) which were rich, juicy and very tasty, while ML had the bass with putanesca sauce. The bass was crispy. Both mains were more simply presented than the apps but perfectly executed and the portion size was generous. For beer lovers, the selection is terrific - I had a Liberty Ale (San Francisco microbrew). I won't comment on the wine list because I'm not able to, except to say that the list had wines at many different price points starting at $29, and the glass that ML selected was excellent to my taste.
Finally, dessert here isn't an afterthought. They have their own pastry chef, and the dessert menu must have had 7 or 8 items, many of which sounded terrific and quite creative. We shared a banana and date cheesecake (daily special).
Prices are very reasonable given the experience, in my opinion. Mains hover below and above 20, apps around 10, and dessert is 9$.
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