Experience the true wonder of French cuisine in HillcrestRestaurant Review Thursday, August 25th, 2011
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Recently Chef Rene Herbeck invited me and a friend to have dinner with him at the new Au Revoir French Bistro, the former home of La Vache.
This chic bistro in the heart of Hillcrest reminds me of my favorite bistros and restaurants in Paris near the Pompidou in the city center or the famous Châtelet in the ninth arrondissement, with inviting French bistro décor, crystal chandeliers and wooden café chairs. It’s a mix of this and that, to be honest, but very pleasing to the eye.
I am very biased when it comes to Chef Herbeck who is one of my favorite chefs outside of Paris. I trust his taste and talent and allowed him to choose the menu for us.
Chef started us with fried curry calamari in a stewed tomato sauce with garlic and olives. It reminded me of a chutney sauce, just slightly different, served with a delightful red wine, “Les Violettes” Côtes du Rhône available by the glass or bottle. The sauce danced perfectly on the palette.
Next he served a cheese board with brie and a truffle oil mascarpone in between, with apricots, olive bread, figs and raisins. Once again perfect to the palette.
The entrée was a pleasant surprise; I was served a filet mignon medium rare, thinly sliced with a morels port sauce, sautéed green beans and pommes frites (“French fries”). Heaven on earth.
My dinner companion was served Noix de Saint-Jacques flambées sur lit de Ratatouille, Pommes Rattes and sauce au Pastis. In English, seared sea scallops on a bed of ratatouille; three very large scallops in a cast iron skillet served flambéed. A very dramatic and delicious presentation.
The portions were enormous, yet we still found room to consume caramel flan for $5.25, which is a steal because most restaurants typically charge $8 or $9.
My experience that evening was just magic in more ways than one; the French never cease to amaze me when it comes to their cuisine
If you would like to make your dining experience truly special sit at the wine bar and ask for the chef to come and speak with you, tell him what you fancy, likes and dislikes and let him create for you. I guarantee your experience will be wonderful.
The bistro also offers a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday that includes 30 percent off all wines by the glass and all lunch menu items. A varied weekend brunch menu is also a nice choice with outside café tables for soaking up a few rays or people watching.
Au Revoir has ample off-street and on-street parking. I suggest a walk around the many fine shops after dinner or better yet try Hillcrest Cinema for the latest independent films.
Au Revoir French Bistro
420 Robinson Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
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