Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bistrot or brasserie?

Last Monday, we’d stopped for tea and coffee in the late morning at a brasserie that we’d been admiring.  We enjoyed our break there, and I noticed one of my favorite dishes, aile de raie (skate) on the blackboard.  We decided to go there for dinner sometime this week.

Last night was the night.  We arrived at Les Trois Garçons brasserie at 7:30PM and were given a table in the middle of the dining room.  The only people out on the terrace were smokers; it was a cool, damp evening.

Les Trois Garçons, on Place du Comtat Venaissin

Soon after we arrived, the place began filling up with locals – mostly families.  That’s always a good sign.  Most people ordered one of the steaks – I think there were three choices.  Some had fries, some had puréed potatoes.

That’s probably what we should have ordered.  Instead, we had a mixed bag.

Tom ordered a country terrine as a starter; it was delicious.  I ordered a burratta, and it was too much cheese and too little else.
Napkins in cubbyholes at Les Trois Garçons.

For the main course, Tom ordered pork medallions stuffed with foie gras – very good! And very small.  I had a mullet that was supposed to be done in meunière fashion (the skate was no longer on the menu).  There was nothing meunière about it, although the fish was very good.  The overcooked veggies that came with it were not, however.

We shared the tart of the day – a fig tart flavored with anise and served on a sablé crust.  Yummy!  And attractive.

The price for this brasserie dinner?  75 euros (no discount).  That was too much for what it was.  I will say that the food came out of the kitchen quickly at Les Trois Garçons; for those in a hurry, this might matter.

Compare this brasserie dinner to the dinner we had at the bistrot, Le Blavet, the night before.  You can see the photos of the food on yesterday’s posting.

For the same price – 75 euros with no discount – we each had three courses, plus a mis en bouche.

For a starter, I had a beautiful tartelette aux tomates cerises, oignons confits, sardines grillée.   Tom’s starter was some foie gras entier (i.e., not a paté) that melted in the mouth, served with a roasted apple slice on spice bread with a fruity sauce.  Delicious, and beautiful.
Wallace fountain next to Les Trois Garçons.

My main course -- slices of duck breast in a powerful sweet-and-sour sauce served with rich scalloped potatoes, and roasted apple and prune, with a homemade olive-and-anchovy flavored cracker -- was a beautiful and sensuous creation.  There was a plethora of rich flavors on that plate.

Tom had a true sole meunière, although I thought it should have had some of the butter sauce with it on the plate.  Nevertheless, it was delicious.  Really delicious.  And Tom did a great job of de-boning it.

Tom had a fandarole of several small desserts, and I had a homemade apple pie (tarte tatin).  I will say that the fig tart at Les Trois Garcons was superior to these desserts at Le Blavet. But dessert is not the most important course, in my opinion.

Needless to say, I had to use a ZipLoc back to surreptitiously take some of the food home from Le Blavet.

There was no comparison between Le Blavet, the bistrot, and LesTrois Garçons, the brasserie, for 75 euros.  This is not unusual.  The bistrot is better value almost every time.  That’s why we’ve only gone to brasseries a very few times this summer.

Vive le bistrot!

Excellent fig tart at Les Trois Garçons.

No comments: