Vive les changements!Eat This! Thursday, July 21st, 2016
I have a close friend and partner in crime who is “Ethel” to my “Lucy”, “Waldorf” to my “Statler”, “Butch Cassidy” to my “Sundance Kid” – you get the picture. We met for dinner at Pardon My French one recent evening to share news and gossip. “Butch” and I huddled in the large private booth at the back of the room.
Pardon My French is the latest incarnation in the space formerly occupied by Heat Bar & Kitchen. Cosmetically, the restaurant is largely unchanged. With a hat tip to well-credentialed head chef Dariusz Szelag, the most notable changes have occurred in the kitchen and on the menu. Vive les changements!
Butch told me about hirings and firings and his recent promotion while we sipped craft cocktails; the French Blonde ($8) for me, and the Park Blvd. Maid ($8) for him. The blonde is a wonderfully refreshing blend of dry gin, St. Germain (an elderflower flavored liqueur), grapefruit juice, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of bitters. The maid combines hibiscus infused American Harvest organic vodka with muddled mint, cucumber and lime juice. A little sweet, a little tart and just right.
I told Butch about my latest and largest commission from a local artist while sharing appetizers; cream of asparagus soup ($7) and chicken liver pâté ($12). The large bowl of fresh creamy goodness is a delicate blend of chicken stock and asparagus purée. Smokey grilled asparagus spears, sweet pea tendrils and a dollop of crème fraîche completes the presentation. The swoon-inducing pâté, served with crunchy grilled baguette, is a rich slice of smooth chicken liver and black truffles perfectly complimented by crisp lightly dressed mixed greens and sweet apricot compote.
Goose, our hunky affable server, presented our entrées then discreetly retired. Butch bragged about the Mussels Meunière ($16). A mountain of clean de-bearded mollusks are served in a perfectly executed broth of wine, butter, minced shallots and garlic with chopped parsley and lemon juice. We ordered extra bread so we could sop up all that deliciousness.
The Steak Frites ($28) is a tender 8-oz Aspen Ridge flat iron steak with a good sear and smokiness from the flame, served with steamy hot French fries and grilled tricolor carrots. The tangy Roquefort cheese sauce paired perfectly with the savory medium-rare steak.
Speaking of pairing, Butch paired a Death in the Afternoon ($8) with his mussels, and I chose the Maison Roche de Bellene-Red. Death is an amazing blend of champagne, simple syrup and absinthe, and the licorice-y concoction married well with the mussels. The wine (80 percent Gamay and 20 percent Pinot Noir) is light and fruity on the palate, with notes of blackberry and cherry. Firm tannins give the wine a good structure.
Butch and I shared the Lavender Crème Brûlée ($8) for dessert. The pane of caramelized sugar provides a satisfying crunch in every velvety spoonful, and the herby hint of lavender strikes just the right counterbalancing note.
Eric and Lindsey Fillion have created a space melding art and music with French-fusion cuisine. Don’t be surprised if there is a DJ spinning tunes, or a vocalist crooning songs. Pardon My French is a very popular destination for weekend brunch, and offers an all-night Happy Hour every Tuesday. Find out why Pardon My French is a Diner’s Choice winner.
Pardon My French
3797 Park Blvd.
Open Tuesday through Sunday
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=72357