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San Francisco Bay Area Valentine's Day Dinner

Valentines dinner @ Bistro Jeanty (Long read)

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Valentines dinner @ Bistro Jeanty (Long read)

Brandon Nelson | Feb 16, 2002 12:17 AM

So spoiled...

The restaraunt sceen in the valley is made for Valentines day. This year Tanya and I had the priviledge of feasting at Bistro Jeanty.

This place has been a destination restaraunt practically since the day it opened. Phillipe Jeanty spent over 20 years at Domaine Chandon making it into a landmark this little bistro is following suit.

Our reso was at 8:30, so we were plenty hungry by the time it rolled around. We barely had time to order a drink before our table was ready. The menu offered about a dozen starters and perhaps 10 entrees. The evenings specials added 4 more to each catagory. Tanya ordered the infamous tomato soup in puff pastry. A light dome of pastry over piping hot tomato soup. This dish is, from what I understand, a holdover from the Domaine Chandon menu. I order fried smelt with red pepper aoli. The dipping sauce added a little fire to the crunchy greaseless fish. Between shared bites we agreed that we would have to return soon and knosh our way through the rest of the appetizer menu. Tanya had decided weeks before this evening on the Coq au Vin. A great choice. This dish satisfies on so many levels. Smoky enough to blunt a bbq jones. Complex enough to take on any fine dining bug. Rich enough to simply be a French classic. My early urge was for cassoulet, but that was abandoned when our waitress recited the final entree special; braised lamb cheeks, artichoke, and favas over fusilli. The lamb cheeks were fall apart tender, the veggies harmoniously toothy and tender, and the pasta defined al dente. The textures were brilliant. I finished less than half of my main course, but Tanya atypically polished hers off. Major role reversal. My dessert was creme caramel. I'm going to fuss a little here. It was good, but a little too eggy. I like my custard a bit more on the creamy side. Tanya's "chocolate bar" consisted of a heavy chocolate mousse on a chocolate sugar wafer dusted with ground chocolate. It was served in a raspberry coulis with an acompanying scoop of house made vanilla ice cream. The ice cream alone is worth a return visit. Our pre tip total was just under $100 (add a glass of 1999 Artesa Pinot Noir to the already mentioned items above)

The service was flawless, but not fussy. The staff has a genuine warmth. Tanya has a "new favorite". Bistro Jeanty is worth its lable as a "destination restaraunt".

Chow!!!

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