I have to admit that I feel a little guilty. It seems we only dine at French Cafe on our anniversary. We’ve done so the past several anniversaries, and we have really come to regard this place as our “special evening” restaurant.
Really, though, it’s more than that. While the French Cafe is a very upscale and romantic place to eat, it’s also a place we should probably go more often. It’s one of the few places that has been under the same (local) ownership and management now since it opened over 40 years ago. Tony’s (and now Valerie’s) attention to detail and insistence on perfection is what really makes this restaurant.
The food is, as it always has been, truly outstanding. You won’t find a better French onion soup anywhere, and the escargot is good enough to convince you that snails were meant to be eaten. Their menu is varied and updated, and there is always something new to try. It’s elegant without being snooty, accessible without being overly informal. We’ve also noticed that the cost seems to be lagging significantly behind inflation; our dinner bill was lower than expected (possibly due in part to the fact that we skipped drinks and wine).
We had Chateaubriand for two, prepared tableside by an excellent waiter. After dinner was the minor spectacle of seeing our cherries jubilee prepared, followed by the even more enjoyable eating of them. And of course one of the best parts is the after-dinner stroll through the Old Market before returning home (or wherever you’re staying).
You may think French food is for snobs, you may think the French Cafe is expensive. If so, I would respectfully say you’re wrong on both counts. If you haven’t been to the French Cafe, or haven’t been there recently, make it a point to do so, and soon. You deserve it.