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A culinary tour of France with a California flair

Rack of lamb with rosemary crust | PHOTO: HEXAGONE

“Making porn is harder than it looks,” he said between appetizer nibbles and cocktail sips.

I hadn’t seen my buddy “Pierce” in several months. He’s a newbie in gay adult films; tall, lean and ruggedly handsome. We caught up over dinner at Hexagone one recent balmy evening. “Performing under hot lights for six hours with a camera crew, sound and lighting techs, the director all crowding around … talk about pressure,” he said.

We could speak freely without fear of being overheard – ours was the only occupied table in the sophisticated yet casual low-ceilinged dining room. Electric candle light washed across the white linen tablecloth. French music played softly in the background. Pierce nursed a Mojito, and I, a Myrtille. The Raspberry Mojito ($11) is a thirst-quenching blend of muddled fresh fruit and mint, club soda, sugary simple syrup and Grand Marnier. A Myrtille ($12) is a refreshing mix of crushed blueberries and lime, vodka, Triple Sec and crème de cassis (a liqueur made from blackcurrant) with a splash of cranberry juice – a perfect balance between sweet and tart.

Sam, our attentive and knowledgeable server/bartender, proffered the appetizers and discreetly retreated. We shared Crispy Sweetbreads ($14) and Frogs Legs Provençale ($14). The succulent faintly fishy frog’s legs are served with a lemony buttery blend of diced vine ripe tomatoes, minced basil, parsley and garlic. Sweetbreads, an earthy and savory appetizer, are made using various glands such as the thymus or pancreas, sliced thin and fried to a delicate crunch, then topped with crumbly onion strings and served with a wild mushroom ragout. A drizzle of sumptuous shallot and Port wine demi-glace completes the presentation.

We ordered the Muscovy Duck Breast with Leg Confit ($27.50) and Fish of the Day ($34) as our entrées. The duck is brined for several hours to assure the juiciest most flavorful meat, and then slowly poached in rendered fat for several more hours. The crispy-skinned meltingly tender dish is served with rough mashed potatoes, green beans, sautéed diced zucchini, red peppers and onions and a sweet reduction of Grand Marnier and fresh-squeezed orange juice. A glass of 2013 Chateau Mont Redon Cotes-du-Rhône ($9) was the perfect pairing – a perky deep violet pour full of ripe cherry fruit on the nose and palate, with well-balanced tannins, that falls away quickly on the finish.

The seafood special was described as a “parfait” of Sea bass, Salmon and Prawn, which proved to be an ambitious endeavor with lethargic results. Even the Dijon citrus sauce shied away from the plate. Pierce thought the dish was “bland” and “one dimensional” and I had to agree. While the small fish fillets were well prepared and beautifully presented, my only wish was for a fresher more robust flavor profile.

Sam teased us with the dessert menu and sweet-tooth tugging choices like Crêpes Suzette, Chocolate Soufflé or custard filled Profiteroles. I mentioned the homemade Lemon Pudding Bundt Cake with blackberry and Triple Sec compote waiting at my place and Pierce’s eyes smoldered in a bedroom sort of way. Because we had a lot of catching up to do. We paid our bill and hailed a cab.

Hexagone refers to the six-sided shape of France, and their extensive menu offers a culinary tour of traditional French dishes fused with California cuisine. They’re open seven days a week for dinner with bargain lunch and happy hour menus, too. Eat this hungry readers. You’ll be glad you did.

Hexagone Restaurant

495 Laurel Street

Open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Friday and Saturday)

619-236-0467

hexagonerestaurant.com



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Posted by on Oct 29, 2015. Filed under Eat This!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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