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Restaurants & Bars 3

Zax good, Foreign Cinema brunch lame

babette feasts | Jan 10, 200512:52 PM

Had dinner Saturday nights at Zax Tavern on Telegraph, and was nicely surprised. I started with the duck confit ($9), which was a whole leg, warm and crisp-skinned with an overdressed but delicious frisee salad garnished with fried capers and tiny crispy potato croutons.

Grilled Peppered Ahi ($19) was peppery and flavorful, and appropriately rare. Arugula & fennel salad was a little too lemony, but was otherwise a nice match. Really nice tiny baby arugula.

I had the apple galette with caramel ice cream ($6.50), which was about how I expected it to be. Warm, flaky, good apples, slight doughiness at the edge.

Service at the bar was a bit distracted due to a pre-Cal game rush, but friendly and entirely competent.

Was in the City yesterday afternoon and decided to treat myself to a late brunch at Foreign Cinema. I started with 9 oysters, which were cold, fresh, and good, then had the Coque Monsieur ($12).

OK, so I used to work at a french restaurant in Seattle that had croque monsieur and madame both covered in bechamel and cheese and baked in a hot oven for 15 minutes, and the food lovers companion defines croque monsieur as being dipped into beaten egg before being sauteed in butter - so there's some standard of richness - but what I got was a plain toasted ham and cheese sandwich, no butter, no extra cheese, no beaten egg or bechamel, just white bread, ham and cheese pressed somehow to be dry and toasted on the outside and warm and vaguely doughy on the inside. LAME!
The french fries were good, but also completely not sexy in any way. Four leaves of arugula to garnish, oh boy. I expect a lot more from them.

Service was adequate.

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