I am so excited that Philipe Beltran has decided to open a restaurant at 4090 Adams Avenue, across from the Ken Cinema.
We have followed his success since he first created French Side of West in 1990.
His new establishment is in the space that was formerly Green Tomato. It has a country French look and very affordable prices.
On Friday, we split the calamari (7.5) I had the Rack of Lamb $21. The lamb was tender and prepared perfectly. It was joined with gratin potatoes and ratatouille. MSO had the bouillabaisse (19.5), our friends had the fricassee and the salmon wrapped in parchment 17.5). We were all overwhelmed with how good everything was.
We went back again on Sunday, and we shared the escargot (7.5), Caesar salad (7.5), wild mushroom raviolis (14.5) and crème brulee 6.5). Our friends split the cheese platter, Caesar salad, halibut (18.5) and flourless chocolate cake. Our friend has an allergy to flour and the servers new there items and steered her away from any item that could have even have the faintest amount of flour used. They were very happy to point out the flourless chocolate cake to her.
They have four signature martini’s (9.5) that include a basil , a Clementine with muddled mandarin oranges, a French Martini, and a Bleu martini with blue berries.
The wine list is very French and many items by the glass for $8 and bottles in the mid 20’s to low 30’s. Both nights we had a $32 Cotes de Rhone
The atmosphere is comfortable and the owner either greeted the guest or came to each table to check on them, which I thought was a nice touch. The prices were very good and the attention to detail and service were top notch.
We are there on Sunday night. We (party of 4) arrived at 6:00 PM and were told that since we didn't have a reservation we could sit at the bar, lounge our outside. A little suprising on an early Sunday night when the tables weren't full. We were a little sad to sit outside because the inside of the restaurant looks pretty cool (rustic french), but it was nice outside so we were fine.
Pros: Good Bread, Fabulous Filet w/3 dipping sauces (curry, bernaise, & truffle something), Really Good Lamb Chops, Good Frites.
Cons: Terrible Waitress! She couldn't pronounce most of the menu and didn't even try with the specials and then was unable to properly charge our 2 credit cards when all we wanted was to split the bill. Mediocre NY Steak (tough) and terrible charcuterie plate (stingy in portion and of the 5 items the only decent meat was the salami that we were never given the proper name of).
Would we go back---yes. Overall we enjoyed our meal and would like to try more of the menu.
We finally made it here today for lunch, and were very impressed. My friend and I had the Nicoise salad with seared ahi (perfectly prepared!) and opted for two of their special martinis, which were excellent (she had the clementini and I had the bleu martini). We tried to identify the liqueur in her clementini, and asked our waiter about it. He immediately headed for the bar, and brought back not only the bottle for us to see, but a small taste in a glass. It was Napoleon Liqueur l"Orange, and it was delicious! I thought his gesture was a nice touch. My daughter had the grilled chicken paillard with pomme frites, which we all sampled. WOW! So often meats cooked in this fashion are dry, but this was succulent and grilled to perfection. I wish we would have had room for dessert, but we were too full. Our waiter, Brandon, was wonderfully engaging, and service was attentive without any hovering. We'll definitely go back, and SOON!
I dined there on Thursday. A friend and I shared the charcuterie plate - for entrees I had the moules frites and she had the halibut. She really seemed to enjoy it. I thought the mussels were just ok and the fries were a little soggy . Not nearly as good as the moule frites I've had at Vagabond (with the creme fraiche). The charcuterie plate was generous for two. It had the same pate as Vagabond's - but the prosciutto and bresaola were not as good as they should have been. (FYI - I recently had a really good house-made charcuterie plate at jSix.) Given how busy they were I could cut them a little slack - I love the decor, and the atmosphere was nice and lively. I did see the bouilliabaise and it looked very good - if I were to go back that is what I would order. It is VERY popular right now, so don't expect to get a table without a reservation. I'm sure that will ease up eventually though. We had excellent service, so no issues there - even though they were very busy.
re: Alice Q
So I went again today for lunch - the calamari was excellent and I loved the glass of house rose, but I was disappointed in the Nicoise salad. The dressing was bland and the green beans were limp. My friend had the chicken paillard, which she liked. I was surprised they didn't have a burger or any other sort of sandwich options at lunch. If I still lived in the neighborhood I'm sure I'd go back, but I probably won't make a big effort based on what I've had on my two recent visits. If they would step it up just a notch or two on the food they'd be going great guns!
i went for lunch last week with two coworkers and we were surprised how overly simple everything was. the decor was beautiful, we really loved the restaurant itself, but we were kind of underwhelmed with the food. it certainly wasn't terrible, but i think we thought it would be better. we're all big fans of vagabond.
i also had the nicoise salad and thought it was borderline bland. i did appreciate how moderately priced the lunch items were though! it would be worth a return visit to try another item, i was sad i didn't order the mussels. a table next to us ordered them and they smelled delicious.
Another disappointing meal at Blue Boheme, a place I really want to like. Limp frites, raw lamb, no sign of Philippe. Prety clueless wait staff, noisy to the point it is hard to have a normal conversation. Twice the tables and floor are so uneven that there is a noticible tilt and rock to the table. Calamari was pretty greasy and the onion soup cloyingly sweet. Even though I live in the neighborhood and therefore am not too picky I think I will pass from here on.
A friend and I had lunch here on a recent Saturday. We arrived as soon as they were open and were seated immediately. Soon the restaurant was pleasantly populated by other diners but not full. The setting/ambience was nice and overall I'd say that what we ordered, on that particular afternoon, lived up to what one might expect at a French bistro-style establishment. In general I thought the food was well-seasoned and arrived hot and fresh.
My friend ordered the calamari and a salad, and although I don't generally care for calamari because it tends to be over-cooked, this calamari was delectable. The dipping sauces were also good. I ordered the New York Steak. I thought the flavor was good and the fries that accompanied it were hot, crisp, and perfect. Unfortunately the steak was over-cooked. When the waitress asked how I would like the steak cooked, I replied, ""medium-rare." It arrived well done. When I brought this to the waitress' attention she replied, "Well, we used a thermometer but sometimes it's overcooked. It is hard to get right because it's a thin cut of meat." Granted, this IS a thin cut of meat but why ask a customer how they would like a steak cooked if you can't deliver? A restaurant such as this should know better, so I asked her to let the chef know that it was overcooked. To her credit she asked if I would like to send it back which I declined (I wanted to eat with my friend and could stand to eat it well done in this case).
And this leads to my main issue with Bleu Boheme: although the other servers (pouring water, delivering bread, removing plates) were pleasant and helpful, our waitress had trouble answering questions about the menu. For instance, she could not tell me what came on the charcuterie plate, nor could she tell me who the suppliers were. Since I'm convert to the new American salumi trend I was curious to have a sense of who supplied the products but her inability to answer this question- and disinterest in finding out from the kitchen- led me to decide against ordering it as an appetizer. Furthermore, our waitress acted like she wanted to be anywhere but working at Bleu Boheme. She was borderline surly and on two occasions literally was walking away from us as she asked us questions (did we want to order drinks? was everything okay?) Then she was peeved when we wanted to reply at length or ask other questions. Perhaps she was having a bad day, but our interactions with her made it a less pleasant experience and her lack of interest in attending to our questions was off-putting. I hope her attitude is an anomaly.
I would try Bleu Boheme again; I think the food was reasonably priced for a good sit-down lunch, and am curious to try their dinner menu. I would also hope for a different server who is more interested in food/the dining experience.
While it appears that the service and food at BB is uneven, we have had great food and better than average service in a setting that is very comfortable. Indeed a table has tottered a little, but if the food and company is great who really cares?
My favorites would be the paillards, the moules are fantastic, the salad Nicoise one the best in town, the romaine salad well presented, fresh and with a perfect dressing. But true perfection was found, at least the two times that I supped upon it, in the fish soup--very French, light hint of saffron and I would guess a touch of cheese. Good wine list, especially the French reds.
Indeed the place can be noisy but that is as much a function of American (Californian) diners who believe that talking loud is a birthright and that "inside voices" are only for children, as it is of the setting.
We stopped in here yesterday for lunch. My dining companions had the beef paillard, and their only complaint was the lack of complexity in the salad that comes with it. I had the French onion soup, which I thought was quite good. Someone mentioned it was "cloyingly sweet" in an earlier post, but I didn't find it sweet at all. I could, however, detect a hint of what I think was sherry. I also had the autumn salad with winter greens, sliced pears, grapes, and rocquefort dressing. The pears were sliced paper thin, which didn't allow much flavour to come through, but, overall, the salad was quite good. The big hit of the meal - the basil martini. FABULOUS! Our wait staff was very good. Our server informed us the bartender wasn't there when we ordered drinks, and she was, at first, hesitant to make them herself. However, she did a great job, and we tipped quite well. If you go and you like basil, get that martini!