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Recent visit to Bistro Campagne

shopgirl | May 6, 200509:00 AM

Went to Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square last night. Really enjoyed it. The feel and charm of the place was warm and inviting. Dress was come-as-you-are-casual - there were a few here and there in sportcoats, but the bartender, server and maitre'd were all in jeans. Very cozy, comfy with lots of wood and trim highlighted by stained glass in spots.

The wine list was not overly extensive but nice - we had a bottle of a French Cab-Syrah blend - deep and earthy. Everything was very reasonably priced with sandwiches from $8-10, entrees from $15-21. Many standard bistro dishes on the menu: steak frites, escargot, mussels. I was torn between the mac & cheese (gratin if you will) and the duck. The waiter told me the gratin was his favorite, though rich, so he steered us to a side of the gratin (genius!) and I was able to have the duck for my entree. The duck was served in a sweet dark and deep winter vegetable puree that included poached pears, figs and another fruit. MMM. My companion had the roasted chicken in a mushroom ragout topped with onion frites. Both dishes were very good and my only complaint was that the chicken was a bit on the salty side. But the gratin? MMMMMMM. Gone. I'm a sucker for gourmet mac & cheese and this was excellent: perfectly crusty on top, made with gruyere and 2 or 3 other cheeses and just enough parm. Capped off dinner with the warm Valharona chocolate souffle served with vanilla ice cream. Also excellent, also disappeared quickly. Service was timely and solid, no feeling rushed or overly delayed. We'll definitely be back, next time to dine alfresco (there was tented heated seating outdoors that surely opens up once it warms up).

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