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Any thoughts on Cafe Jacqueline?

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  • Burke and Wells Sep 20, 2001 02:07 PM
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Hey Hounds--

Burke and I have been intrigued by the idea of an "all souffle" place we've heard about, Cafe Jacqueline somewhere in SF.

A search here pulled up sporadic mentions of the place, but no actual review or comment. Worth going? Any good?

Let us know! Thanks.

Peter
wells@emusic.com

Link: http://www.burkeandwells.com

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  1. it has been quite a while since i've been there, but for romance it really can't be beat. and the food was really delicious as well. i don't remember what i had for an entree but i think we had an apricot souffle done to a turn for dessert. how she does it in that tiny kitchen i just don't know!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Rochelle

      actually that's one place i always wanted to try when in SF. anybody else know what dishes are good and are the prices astronomical? also, is this place o.k. for solo dining because i've heard the desserts might be only made for a few people and same with the main course souffles, please correct me if i'm wrong. and besides souffles, they don't make anything else?

      1. re: kevin

        I don't remember what the prices were, but it's really not a place for solo dining because all the souffles serve two. Really, souffles are ALL they serve here, except for the odd soup or salad starter. Grab a friend and do check it out--it's quite a unique experience.

        1. re: kevin
          z
          Zach Georgopoulos

          The deserts are definitely too big for one, or maybe even two. I still have fond memories of wandering into Jacqueline's several years ago just before closing time. Two friends and I were celebrating something or other. My pal Rey managed to charm her into making one more chocolate souffle for the evening, and to make it worthwhile we ordered a bottle (or was it two) of Veuve Gliquot. We stayed well after closing, Jacqueline joined us for champagne, and I think there was still some of the beautiful souffle left over (and none of us are shy eaters)!

      2. Cafe Jacqueline is every bit as romantic as others have said it is. My husband and I went there for Valentine's Day two year ago. So I guess my review is two years old, but I've heard nothing of it going down hill.

        Jacquline does all of the soufflés in her tiny kitchen. They are large soufflés that definitely has to be shared by two or even three people (but then I guess three would be a crowd). All entrees and dessert are these large soufflés. There are some salads and small starters, but you really wouldn't have room for two soufflés if you ordered the starters. I remember we had a mushroom soufflés topped with prochutto (sp?) for our entree and for dessert we had a white chocolate soufflés. I also remember having excellent coffee with our dessert soufflés, and it came with real cream! I can't stand milk, or even half and half, real cream makes the coffee so rich and decadent... Both soufflés were delicious, as good as soufflés can get. The waiter brings these big puffed up concoctions and places it in between you and your dinning companion and you both dig in with your own spoons. The restaurant is small; maybe no more than 10 tables, dimly lit with candles on each table, and long stem red roses (maybe we had roses because it was Valentine's Day).

        If you like soufflés, it's a great place to be.

        1. I have been to this place a couple of times and it is quite yummy. But tell your stomach to be prepared. It's quite rich. The strawberry souffle was heaven, but I am not sure if they are still in season.

          1. I have eaten at Cafe Jacqueline several times over the years, but not lately. This tiny, exquisite place seems to be suited to romance or special occasions when you are really indulging. I do recall perfect salads and a beautifully presented soup where spirals of potato and tomato were perfectly presented in one bowl.

            The main attraction, of course, are the souffles, made one at a time by Jacqueline in the tiny kitchen in back. She wears a white ruffled apron and works at a counter containing a large bowl of eggs, with a jewled egg laying among them. I remember the proscuitto and mushroom as being very good. The waiter always plated the savory souffles, but for the dessert souffle, the waiter just gives you long spoons and you dip in. The edges are crusty and the middle a pool of molten chocolate. I have only ordered the chocolate one, it is TDF!

            Once, on Bastille Day, I wanted to be sure I was not too full to enjoy the chocolate souffle so I insisted that my companion indulge me in a backward dinner. We started with the chocolate souffle, then had french onion soups and a salad. I highly recommend it!

            1. Just ate dessert there tonight. My buddy and I got some cheap grub at Yuet Lee - sampan porridge and a "noodle" dish (menu said wor noodles, I had no idea what that was and therefore ordered it, but I was puzzled because it came without a shred of noodles; maybe it was a mistake, but we ate everything without complaint, since there was a good amount of food). The food was quite decent, I'll probably head back with a bigger group for their entree type dishes.

              So after that variety of crunchy miscellanous body parts (pigs ears, tripe etc.), and cuttle fish and shrimp and veggies and wontons and chicken from the porridge and "noodle", we had to pick dessert.

              It's typical for me and my pals to follow up a cheap bottom dollar meal with a high end dessert and I picked Cafe Jacqueline since we were in the neighborhood and the posts from this thread were still fresh in my mind.

              The place is comfy and unassuming and seats 24 with one efficient waiter moving quickly from table to table. It's not loud, but it's by no means quiet either - there's jazz from some speakers somewhere and moderate chatter from the diners.

              We picked the peach souffle and it was fabulous. The menu claims it will serve 2 to 4, but I probably could have eaten one all by myself because it was so good. The souffle rose an inch and a half above the round casserole-type dish and its texture was marvellous, especially for someone like me, who's not had too many souffles and is still rather impressionable. The top surface is covered with powdery confectioner's sugar and decorated with many slices of white peach. Each mouthful that I scooped out with a long parfait spoon was rich, creamy and peachy. The light eggy mouthfuls are especially good during the first few bites where there is a gentle contrast from the crisp and thin edges. The mouthfuls melt away luxuriantly, but doesn't evaporate simply into sweet air; instead the flavors linger for a bit and we could catch a faint fruity and boozy sensation, which turned out to be a french cherry brandy (kir something ... maybe someone can chime in ... I forgot the actual name.) Jacqueline had cheerfully answered my query about the liqueur as I walked by the kitchen on the way to the bathroom. That same liqueur is also added to the other fruit souffles, while the chocolate ones get brandy.

              The souffle was $30 and fed 2, but could probably feed more if it wasn't me and my pal. I'm happy enough that I would definitely go back to try their savory souffles (though not anytime soon, since France is on the horizon).

              2 Replies
              1. re: Limster

                Limster, you sure know how to make a person crave a souffle! We haven't been there in years but we loved it too. Could the liqueur have been kirsch, an eau de vie from cherries?

                1. re: Ann Leneave

                  It sounds about right, but with my bad hearing and bad memory I only managed to catch the fact that the liqueur Jacqueline mentioned had several syllables in French... she did elaborate and mentioned that it was a cherry brandy of some sort when I (clueless of course) asked what kind of liqueur it was.

                  Hopefully I can get a few more nice souffles in France next month. :)