We scheduled our Valentines dinner the following Wednesday, because we don't like the zoo experience. But the preceding Saturday, we went in for lunch as a preliminary reconnaissance.
The Saturday meal was delightful, my wife actually got tears in her eyes because the croque monsieur was so authentic. I had the charcuterie plate, and it was great. Chef makes his own pates (including a duck pate) and even a duck mousse.
Wednesday we came in and the excellent server, Ben, told us what a disaster Valentines day had been - being a new business, they made a mistake and overbooked, and at least one table got mad and left, would not accept comps and coupons, and then went and wrote nasty and dishonest reviews as soon as they got home. One wonders if they would have been happier at Applebee's on Valentine's Day.
Anyway, our Wednesday meal was memorable. Escargots were the best I have had in recent memory. The cheese plate had cheeses I only dream of finding at, say, Central Market in Austin. brie was perfect. Roquefort that melted in the mouth. The Steak ""Magnifique"" with parbroiled marrow and mushroom sauce was all I had hoped for. My wife's French Caribbean Prawns in Curry Coconut Sauce was fantastic, and perfectly cooked. I overheard other customers raving over the rack of lamb. The Chocolate Mousse was amazing, one side was white chocolate mousse, the other was darker mousse, and a home-built dark chocolate sauce lined sparingly over the top of both. Amazing!
The thing that sealed this as an excellent bistro, in the true French meaning (and yes we have dined in many bistros, cafes, and restaurants in France) was that it was genuine. Everything that could be, including much of the charcuterie excepting the artisinal salamis and hams (which take many months to produce), was done there. The sauces and such were all from scratch. Best of all, I am a confirmed carnivore, but I just LOVED the vegetables here! Attention to detail, and to seasoning.
Bottom line, we have been twice, and are going back tomorrow because the chef (who is of Asian ancestry, but a native of Paris, and who owned a Bistro in France) is doing Paella this weekend. And Cassolet is coming, as soon as he can get his hands on some proper (in the French sense) duck or confite du canard.
Nouvelle cuisine it is not, thank goodness. Authentic, classic, and real, it is. Some day soon the Georgetown liquor licensing rigamarole will be done (that is how new they are) and they will have a great wine list too. For now, we brought our own 05 Bordeaux. And the genuine French bread ovens will arrive soon, and then the patisserie will be running!
And my wife and I will continue to return, just as often as possible.
Bottom line: Arrogant Americans of the Applebee's variety may be disappointed if they do not plan properly. Others, especially those who enjoy forming a personal relationship with cooking professionals and servers, will embrace this jewel.
Pros: Authentic French cuisine
Cons: New business, getting rough edges smoothed.