Bernard O's and the French Market Grille
I was so thrilled, that a French flavor La Bastide, opened in Scripps Ranch closer to home. Tried it a year ago, and found the portions small. Same for the restaurant week selections on another occasion.
So have continued going to the French Market for a Calves Liver fix, and Bernard O's for mussels and other variety. Never disappointed at either place. The Mussels at La Bastide are farmed, while at Bernardo O's they are Carlsbad mussels, not farmed. Now I learn that the Chef at Bernard's, who I met last month, used to be at La Bastide. Well, this Friday nite at Bernard's the musseles and the Filet Mignon were excellent. I am so grateful that the small tasting portions at La Bastide did not follow the Chef to Bernardo's, so I have that for regular visits! The fish at Bernardo's on previous visits has always been suberb! I have never been disappointed eating there over several years!
I would not hesitate recommending Bernard O's to anyone looking for a wonderful meal.
Went back to LeBastide to see if there were any changes. The mussels are still the farmed variety and the pricest of the three restaurants. I found the Filet mignon 8 oz to be dry and short on the taste scale. When I pointed out, that it seemed small, the waiter merely stated they always come out like that with what looked like a shoulder shrug. The Garden salad sounded fine on the menu, but was a bit sharp on the tongue.
Looked to me by the crowded room early, that it might be due to the Holiday Season.
Really wanted this one to work, so that I could eat well and save gasoline with a shorter drive. As for the prices, they must have gone up when the tables were filled up regularly.
I used to frequent the place fairly regularly but have not been in probably 4 years. For me, the place went downhill when ownership changed chefs (actually it seemed to me that he stopped using a chef and started using cooks). Service became spotty, the owner was kind of surly, and the food which used to be really good seemed to lose flavor. Because we like French food, lived in Carmel Mtn Ranch and did not like Bernardo's we were here monthly for serveral years. The decline was gradual but distinct and on each visit I hoped for a turnaround. None came.
Dishes I used to like there were salmon, lamb shank, and a veal dish. Over time it seemed they could not get the temperature right and, again, just not the flavor that had been there in the past.
I would imagine several hounds have continued to visit since I stopped. I would be interested to know if anyone else notice this downward trend and whether it reversed after 2002.
Since the opening of La Bastide and the new chef at Bernardo's, I for one would need to hear some high praise.
Anyway, I know this is non specific and perhaps not terribly helpful, but its been awhile. As for not wanting to drive by, that was intented as a joke. Oh well.
I have to disagree with Buzz on a number of points. I have always found Bernardo's to be consistent, but consistently weak. The new chef really only bounced from El Bizcocho (where he was for quite a while doing a great job) to La Bastide (where he moved to a more casual French menu) and then was apparently lured away to Bernardos with a big pay raise. I have to believe it will be a big improvement.
As for French Market Grille, I don't even like to drive by it anymore much less eat there.
Care to expand on the French Market Grille, eatmeup? Even if it isn't a wildly popular opinion, I'd like to see it, as that is a place I've been to in the past and probably would hit in the future, unless given a reason not ot.
As far as not liking to drive by it, that wouldn't have anything to do with Henry's, would it? :)
I have always found Bernard's to be wildly inconsistent. The new chef at Bernardo's is talented, but has bounced around town with a number of different restaurants. He should really help the food there.
French Market Grille is always on the money, and is one of the best neighborhood restaurants in the County.