We chose this restaurant for my wife's 50th birthday dinner based on all the great reviews and were very pleased with the experience. It is in the very cool up and coming St. Joseph street area (be sure to give yourself time to explore the street including Nektar coffee shop and the fantastic bakery nearby).
I had made a reservation for 7:15 on a Thursday night and told them it was her birthday - when we arrived it was filled with people and the welcoming buzz of animated conversation. We were shown to a very special table in the corner near the window - a thoughtful birthday touch! The waitress was extremely nice and attentive and greeted us with a "Happy Birthday" - onto the food - overall very inventive, fresh, local, seasonal, beautiful and delicious. Appetizers: I had the white beet soup garnished with chanterelle lobster and lime - a simple an lovely presentation with creamy yet light and clean flavor. She enjoyed a crisp salad of mixed greens, red and green apples, grapes, and macadamia nuts. Main Course: We enjoyed "La Cocotte Pour Deux Personnes" - a "rabble bistro dish served in a terracotta pot on the table. The dish included rabbit, smoked sausage slices, and thick cuts of side bacon, baked with carrots, small potatoes and sauerkraut. Perfect old country bistro fare - the aroma filled the air as we lifted the heavy lid on the pot and filled our plates with traditional hearty french comfort food. Needless to say the combination was satisfying and tasty. However this is where the "almost" meets up with the perfect... although the dish was fantastic, the mix was a bit off - there was a reasonable amount of meat, but way too much sauerkraut and not enough vegetables - and the dish cost $50.00, so for that investment I expected perfection. That aside, it was fun to share and the waitress enthusiastically noted that the dish changes with the seasons. Deserts: now, we are back to perfect - I had the fresh homemade soft cheese with maple syrup and strawberries - the cheese is made in-house and reminded me of a combination of yogurt and ricotta or marscapone - the maple syrup is served in a tall cordial/shot glass - the dish was inventive and perfect for the fall season. She enjoyed the Sugar Pie - apparently a local favorite - bit Clocher Penche's version is off the charts amazing - it is a simple recipe of sugar and cream baked into a tart, beautifully served with vanilla semifreddo and those cool little orange berries that have a paper-like outer shell - the chef flared up the paper-like exterior so it looked like a flower, the color perfectly matching that of the tart - the mild tartness of the berries complimented the sweet crunchy creamy tart - and it was served with a sparkler - another fun and thoughtful nod for her birthday!
This place is very popular and successful and didn't have to do all the extras they did for her birthday so it made it very special and memorable. Go - and bon appetit!
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