A few months ago, while driving, I spotted the cutest looking French restaurant nestled in a small shopping center in Saint James. Obviously, I went home and looked up their menu and their reviews on Yelp! Once, I saw they had a prix-fixe ($30) AND it was B.Y.O.B., I was sold.
The atmosphere was absolutely charming. I’ve never been to France, but this is what I would imagine an actual French restaurant to look like. (I hope one day to be able to compare.) Although I felt like the modern table settings kind of contradicted the country-like décor, I won’t complain because I love large wine glasses and I thought the water glasses and salt and pepper shakers were really cool.
The service was awesome. I don’t know if it was just because there was only one other party in the restaurant for the majority of the time we were there, but the waitress was excellent. Really attentive without being annoying. I like it when a restaurant isn’t crowded, but I hate when I feel like the waiter/waitress is always watching your table.
And the food. I’m drooling just thinking about all the delicious food I ate last night. The menu was what you would expect of a French place – escargot, foie gras, duck, and lots of Brie cheese. We were pleasantly surprised when the waitress brought out an amuse-bouche (a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre meant to give the guest some insight into the chef’s approach to cooking; English translation = “mouth amuser”). The mini salmon quiche definitely got us excited for the rest of the meal.
Mini salmon quiche
At first glance, I felt set on ordering the Brie cheese and caramelized onion tart as my appetizer, however, when I am given too long to look at a menu I start talking myself into other things. Somehow, I ended up ordering the escargot. I had never tried the dish and the waitress encouraged me that this was the place to be adventurous. The verdict: I like eating snails. Weird!
Escargot bourgogne – walnut, garlic, and mint butter in a fillo nest
I also tasted Alicia’s braised red cabbage and apple salad, which was yummy and I loved the divided dish it was served in.
For my entrée I ordered duck leg confit with a port-balsamic glaze. Since the first time I tried duck about a year ago, I am unable to not order it whenever it is offered on a menu. I also tasted Alicia’s fresh pasta with veggies and Parmesan cheese. They were both excellent. And the way in which the little haricots verts were so carefully placed on my dish made me happy!
We each finished off our meal with a perfectly sized and scrumptious crème brulee.
The entire experience was all that I had hoped for. During dinner, Alicia and I decided that you know a restaurant is good when anything you taste is delicious, even if it may sound unappealing based on your personal flavor preferences. Alicia was iffy about the salmon quiche and I was unsure about the escargot, but we gobbled up everything we were given. When dining at a fine restaurant, you just have to trust the chef.
Needless to say, I will be going back to Voila the Bistro.