Sunday, January 29, 2012

Madame Chou Chou - petits délices gastronomiques éclectiques

The main dinning room. Oui, c'est petit.

Madame Chou Chou is a very special place.

It is, in so many ways, very French. For Americans unused to the way things can be in a small French café, this can be both good and bad.

Le service: I’ve been several times now and Madame was there every time and either served us or checked in on us to make sure things were going well. She is a character, but in the best of ways. She is the heart and soul of this small resto. Now, the flip side is, things do not necessarily move at a rapid pace. Do not come here if you are in a hurry. And the atmosphere is small casual French, so the service from the one waiter I’ve ever seen is,well, casual. Quite pleasant mind you, and the wine he recommended was fantastic while very reasonably priced (the white Entre Deux Mer), but he may forget an order or if you complain show a hint of that French bad boy attitude.So, just be willing to just go with the flow. Think of it as authentic French.

Où s'asseoir (where to sit): Personally I like to sit in the main room. There’s a very cute patio in back, which is where most patrons like to sit, but for me the quieter, more traditional space, though a bit gothic,inside works better. Outside is livelier & noisier, inside; darker and more intimate… that is if it isn’t too crowded.

Le repas: I’ve tried multiple menu items at this point and have not had anything bad. The fish was not to my liking, but it wasn’t bad. It just was a style of preparation that didn’t suit me, but suited my companion quite well. Now the lamb shank, that was good, and one night they had a duck confit special that was astounding. Slightly off the traditional path in that the chef made a confit from a smoked duck, but oh my, did it work well. We practically licked our plates. Everything is reasonably priced, too. If I had a complaint it would be that the menu is a little too limited and the classic French staple of Steak Frite is missing. Please Madame Chou Chou, add a nice steak frite. Please.

Les desserts: OMG. Everything is good, and the fig and goat cheese tart is fantastic – alone worth the trip.

Bottom line: For a mini trip to France, an eclectic off the beaten path France that is, one full of characters, a bit of adventure, and plenty of good tastes, you can’t beat Madame Chou Chou.

Bon apetit!
Le Capitaine


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