Monday, November 27, 2006

Let's eat: Cafe Beaujolais

Venturing forth into Eagle Rock on Saturday night (Hollywood on a Saturday night being too full of people who are NOT locals), C and I cruised into Cafe Beaujolais (1712 Colorado) with no reservation. Appropriately insouciant, C asked how long the wait would be; the waiter was French, as most there are, and provided the requisitely sneering "you have NO reservation?" before quickly moving a party of three (I hope he gave them free drinks) and separating two tables to seat us and the older couple who had been waiting there for a while before we breezed in.

Before I describe our meals, I ought to explain that C and I were recovering from Fake French Restaurant Syndrome. After Casino Royale last week, we somehow couldn't drag ourselves from the Grove to BLD just a few blocks away in the real world, and instead ate dinner at Morels there. The food isn't real French food, the frites were awful, the mussels were just OK, and the endive salad had no character. Only the wine was good (and thank Bacchus for that). Overall, not a great experience especially for us snobby Francophiles (see? I admit it).

So we came to CB (as I will abbreviate it) with a certain set of expectations, and indeed they were met. A traditional French menu, escargots,onion soup and whatnot? Check. Actual French waiters who have attitude, but can be badgered with bavardage to behave like near-humans? Double check.

C started with an endive salad with blue cheese and walnuts; it had the je ne sais quoi that the Morels salad lacked. My spinach soup (yes, eating on the wild side) was a puree and lovely, salted just enough in the French way. C enjoyed her halibut with mashed potatoes and something green that also looked mashed (Message to C: Write in a comment and tell me what that was). I had the special, coq au vin, which was delish -- came with a very fine polenta that was terrific.

The wine list is great, mostly French and California. The waiter informed us that my Pinot Noir was "the best wine ever." He had a thing about superlatives. When we asked him what the best dessert was, he said, "Me." Neither of us really had him in mind at the moment, and he didn't offer to provide selections from the rest of the waitstaff. He did go on to list a few other items, creme brulee, tarte tatin, mousse au chocolat, etc. We had the profiteroles, which were freshly-baked (they often aren't) and had great fudge sauce on top, marred tremendously by the spray whipped cream all over, my only complaint.

Finally, a real French restaurant to cure the Fake Syndrome!

Verdict: I'll go back. Maybe I'll even make a reservation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm new to the Eagle Rock area. I've visited France several times over the past few years. I think it's funny that so much is made about the service in French restaurants. Both Parisian and outerlying areas. I found them all to be efficiant and professional. And I speak no french. The cuisene, however, is like no other. I do look forward to sampling the fare in ER eateries. Cheers!
Speedy Cat