We have enjoyed fine food around the world, and this restaurant is one of our favorites anywhere. Housed in a vintage brick home, with dining on the wrap-around porch and inside, the service is friendly, yet formal enough to complement the continental food. White table cloths, long-stemmed roses for the ladies at the end of the meal, servers in ties -- all make the experience suitably special. But the star is the food. The flavors are both well-balanced and intense, and each dish seemed to approach perfection. Tasty gougères accompanied flutes of champagne, and then the real show began. My braised veal sweetbreads appetizer from the tasting menu was one of the best preparations I have had -- tender morsels of sweetbreads and local vegetables in an intense demi-glâce broth, served piping hot. The pear-roquefort tart drew raves, as did the asparagus with Iberico ham and soft-boiled egg. The duck breast entrée and veal roulade were also excellent, with generous portions and local vegetables that were ideal complements to the meats. We succumbed to a shared dessert of ice cream stuffed profiteroles, and left exclaiming about the overall excellence of the meal. A plus for those staying at the Chautauqua Institution or Chautauqua Suites: a trolley shuttle that will transport you to and from your meal.
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