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du Glace - French Bistro in Deep River Ct

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  • few Jan 24, 2008 06:56 AM
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Thought I would share my experience with du Glace from last evening.

We decided on a Wed nite becuse we thought it would be pretty quiet. Well for a Wed in Deep River it was pretty busy. They had about 7-8 full tables going from about 7 - 9:30.

Now I thought the service was very accomodating and timely - if not particularly knowledgeable about the menu items or the kitchen and wines.

We had some starters and a main course and split a dessert between 2 of us.

While we watied and made up our minds - they presented up with a small plate of gruyere puffs - very light , tart and tasty!

The starters were onion soups , bacon/leek tart and mesclun salads. I had ordered an onion soup.

This is a white onion soup - which I have never had before - it is a cream base but was very flavorful and the crouton was crispy and the cheese was a tart gruyere. The soup was a bit heavier than I really care for - but it was good. I do not think I would order it again if I were ordering a full meal there. Maybe if I were planning on just ordering 2 starters for my meal - this soup would be great.

They brought out a french bread for the table - which was ok - not great ( I have to admit - since I knew the chef - owner here was the original chef that started up the PIPS bistro at the Copper Beech Inn - I was expecting the same crunchy french bread - but it was not)

My dinner mates ordered the salad and it looked very fresh and they said it was tasty - it looked like something I might try the next time I go in.

The bacon leek tart had greens on the side, looked nicely prepared and was throughly enjoyed by my other dinner companion.

Well - we ordered the Grilled duck with wild rice risotto and steak and frites.

The grilled duck was in a red wine sauce reduction made with spices and fruits. It was cooked perfectly, the sauces was a great counterpoint to the gaminess of the duck and the wild rice risotto had a delicate crunch - that made the meal a bit more special.

Other meal selection ordered was steak and frites. The report was it was a good steak - but again I gave to say the frites were kind of ordinary looking , although I didn't ask so as not to ruin my companions eating experience - they looked like frozen fries to me ?

(again - my experience at PIPS with the frites came into play here I must admit - there the frites were more delicately cut strips of crisply fried potatoes) .

Both the steak and duck were prepared rare as requested.

We ordered off the wine list and got an Austrailian Shiraz - - it was very nice and went well with all our meals.

We split a Pear Frangipane for dessert (just to tast - we were all too full) which had a delicate crust, a light almond taste and we enjoyed it.

Now the coffee - well - that was kind of watery & luke warm - but I did not send it back - because all I wanted was a taste of coffee anyway to finish off the meal, not to linger over.

None of us were able to finish our main courses - and they were wrapped for us to take home. So the portion sizes , while not overwhelming - were more than adequate for a big appetite if you bring one.

Now , the prices were a bit steeper than I would have expected for the main courses (esp for Deep River) running about from $18 ( for a Coq au Vin for example) - $28. The starters were pretty reasonably priced for the quality - from about $6 - $11 and desserts were in that same price range.

( Largely because when we met at one of the friends home before going to take one car - we were treated to a great appetizer prepared for us out of Sarah Chase's Cold Weather Cooking book - also yummy)

Now I predict that du Glace has a shot at staying around for awhile once they get their act and menu together for the local audience. Deep River is not Chester

- - but this is way less pretensious than the Restarount du Village in Chester and PIPS in Ivoryton .

It has a much smaller choice of items than say - Cafe Routier in Westbrook.

BUT - the cooking is some of the best of have had in the shoreline area
and
they have paid special attention to re-furbishing and decorating an old Main Street storefront in Deep River so that when you step inside, the ambiance is very soothing and the coloring and paintings on the wall make you feel you are truly in a french bistro.

All the tables around us seemed to be enjoying their meals and service - so that is always another good sign.

They have a small bar up front which also had a small crowd of about 6-7 people for mid week .

I would defintely RECOMMEND giving du Glace a try and suggesting it to your friends.

I will likely stop by the bakery during the day sometime soon and see what they have to offer there as well!

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  1. few -

    that was the very best review I've ever read on the site. thank you. I ate there last week and I'm embarrassed that I didn't write more. Thank you. I almost felt like i dined there again. You hit on some great points.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ElizabethHenton

      THANKS , Elizabeth - - how very nice of you!
      (8->

      I did enjoy duGlace and hope they can stick around -
      they appear to have sunk ALOT of $$$ into that place - - & Deep River is not exactly awash with big spenders - - so I think they will have to ALOT more marketing than they have been doing so far ....

      Word of mouth is pretty slow in this neck of the woods.....

      1. re: few

        I'm going to print your review and add it to a folder I'm making on the area. I have plans for a daytrip in the spring (from RI) to include Deep River, Essex, Chester.....a couple of wineries (Colchester and Wallingford), etc.

        1. re: JaneRI

          thanks Jane
          I do hope you get a chance to stop in...I am not sure if they are open for lunch though....& I have not seen a website for them yet either!
          If I find out more abt their hours I will post it

          1. re: few

            Du Glace.

            okay. What happened? Was in there last week. Seemed dead. Maybe economy/area of shoreline/top secret hiding place... as crazy as it sounds - servers seemed annoyed when we didn't oder ALOT

            Didn't see chef although I know he's handcuffed to the stove. This pace deserves to do well

    2. OK - I went to the Bakery......

      I was looking for something small and sweet for after dinner at home that night.

      EVERYTHING looked appealing.

      I decided to start this time with the basics and then go from there if they worked out.

      I went for some cookies.

      I bought a Raspberry bar and a large Choc dipped Macaroon cookie.

      The Raspberry bar was moist, almondy, and had the perfect balance of crust, raspberry filling and almond topping.

      The Choc macaroon cookie - was - PERFECT.
      Moist and chewy coconut dipped halfway in a dark choclate covering......

      WOW.

      So I will go back next time and but a tart or something more adventurous!

      (p.s. - I did try a linzer cookie my son had brought home the week before - also excellent)

      4 Replies
      1. re: few

        good to read reviews on this new restaurant. Now if I only had an address -
        Can you help me?
        6/2008 heard from my surgeon that I had to try this place.

        1. re: vanpc

          169 Main St., Deep River, CT. Near intersection of Routes 154 and 80.

        2. re: few

          I had a raspberry bar and a chocolate-filled croissant over the weekend. Very, very nicely done. Wish this place was closer to my house (or maybe not for the sake of fitting into my clothes!). Am sure their baguettes just as special as the rest of their baked goods. Will have to try one next time.

          There's a pet store right across the street, so I can justify my trip when I need to buy more cat food. And come to think of it, we are almost out of Wellness. WOOHOO!

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Try the cheese-filled croissant!

        3. My wife and I have eaten at the French Laundry in CA and I must say although they are two different restaurants the surprise was the same..the food is excellent, the staff very pleasant and price very fair for this quality of dining experience..I am not so sure why the price should be more or less because it is in Deep River..that remark is an insult to them and the wonderful CT River town they are in. Fine dining is fine dining where ever you are lucky enough to find it, and there is a cost for that.

          1. I agree with you on the frites. They looked and tasted like frozen fries. Some nice shoestring or hand cut fries would have made the meal. Over all a very nice place.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ilike2boat

              I was in du Glace this past Saturday for a reuinion of sorts with an old roomate and his wife. Service, wine, appetizers, dessert were great. Steak was great, cooked perfectly.
              Frites were still frozen french fries.
              Disappointing in such a place.

            2. Thanks for recommending Bistro du Glace, few. Your descriptions didn't disappoint. The complimentary gougères to start were excellent. Our waitress was wonderful. She made a great wine recommendation, then waited as we tasted it to be sure it was to our liking. Having read reviews on this site before our visit, we asked for the garlic mashed potatoes instead of the frites with the steak....highly recommend! We also shared a side of creamed spinach. I had originally ordered a veal special, but the steak was so delicious (mooing rare, just the way we both like it), my guy traded with me. And I'd say we shared the wonderful pear frangipane tart swimming in crème anglaise, but I ate the whole thing minus two bites all by myself. It was divine! Dinner for 2 plus 1 dessert, coffee and snifter of Macallan came to ~$105 with tax and tip. This won't be our last visit. What a great spot! Thanks again!

              P.S. I called a few days ago to ask if there was an online menu. I assume it was the chef who answered the phone as it was about 10:30 a.m. He told me there was no online menu as of yet, but offered to meet me on Route 9 with a menu and a box of pastries! ;) I just laughed (how tempting is that?!!!) and said we'd be down on Friday. A real treat. FYI--the husband is the chef and the wife is the pastry chef. Match made in heaven, right? :) Sure tasted that way to us.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kattyeyes

                Thanks for bringing this establishment to my attention. i stopped by the bakery today and had a wonderful raspberry bar and the kids enjoyed there cookies as they always do. I noticed a sign mentioning a $22 pre fixe menu, I was not able to study it as I had three kids in tow but at a glance it seemed great. I then headed across the street to FEAST. The sandwiches were wonderful and interesting. They are a ittle pricey but you get what you pay for. If in the area I suggest you give it a try, I certainly will head back there soon.

              2. We went back to Bistro du Glace tonight on the spur of the moment and were pleasantly surprised to find a prix fixe menu in addition to the regular menu. $25 gets you choice of soup AND salad; entree and one of their ever-so-fabulous desserts.

                I tried the creamy onion soup few described in the OP above. WOW. Outstanding. I never had anything like it. Now I want to learn to make it. It was so delicious, and--as you might guess--so filling. My SO had the lobster bisque. It was not as creamy as lobster bisque usually is, but he liked it. He had the flounder meuniere and thoroughly enjoyed it. He also commented he thought it was even a notch above the fish he had recently liked at Brasserie Pip, which is saying something as we both love that place.

                I had the steak (I forget the description, but it's the steak of the house with frites, except I asked for mashed potatoes instead)...cooked perfectly rare just as I ordered it. I couldn't eat it all. After a large crock of soup and salad and gougeres, I honestly could've called it quits right there. Instead, I came home with one of our desserts (a fruit tart) and more than half my steak.

                Service is wonderful, friendly, attentive, just right. I know others thought so, too, as I heard them gushing over their meals to their server. I cannot believe how much wonderful food we had for the low, low price of $25 per person. What you get for the money is definitely worth far more than that.

                6 Replies
                1. re: kattyeyes

                  ONE MORE THING...both times we ate at Bistro du Glace, we ate and loved the steak...and neither few nor I told you part of what makes it special: it's marinated in WINE and BEER! I just ate the leftovers for breakfast along with copious amounts of leftover mashed potatoes.

                  Here's my question: who else is going? Are you going and doing so quietly? ;) Please report back and tell us what else is good here. This place so deserves our dining dollars.

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Went tonight for dinner. Please note the steak du Glace (the one marinated in wine and beer that is SO DELICIOUS) is no longer on the menu...go figure, it's only named for the restaurant...HOWEVER, you can still order it. I'm baffled why they took it off the menu and replaced it with a NY strip (?) but no worries, you can still get it! I can't imagine we were the only ones that loved it. Oh, and we substituted creamed spinach for the fries. Nice!

                    Tonight we tried the grilled sea scallops appetizer with red pepper sauce. It was nicely presented with a mound of pesto-infused rice in the center of the plate. The scallops were cooked perfectly and paired nicely with the peppery-buttery sauce. Mmmmmmmmm!

                    Apparently, the New York Times recently reviewed duGlace. I haven't seen it yet but noticed some quotes from it while we were there. And to think, so many of us were lucky enough (because of this site) to figure it out first. :)

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      The Times only gave them a Good.
                      I really don't think this reviewer likes anything other than ethnic foods.
                      Does anyone else get that feeling?

                      1. re: chefstu

                        The Times reviewer for CT outside Fairfield County (Stephanie Lyness) gave Roy Ip and Le Petit Cafe an "Extraordinary". I suppose French (well, sort of) food from a Hong Kong chef is "ethnic" in some ways, but this is probably an exception to your generalization.

                        -----
                        Le Petit Cafe
                        225 Montowese St Ste 7, Branford, CT 06405

                        1. re: linguist

                          Also an "Extraordinary" for Union League just last week

                          -----
                          Union League Cafe
                          1032 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510

                        2. re: chefstu

                          Also a "Very Good" for Pica Tapas in Hamden, despite some reservations.
                          http://events.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/...

                  2. AHA, du Glace has a website (they didn't when I first went)! Though it's still under construction, their menu and hours are listed. I was googling today to grab their phone number and found it. :) Cannot get their creamy onion soup out of my mind...
                    http://www.duglacebistro.com/pages/bi...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Thanks for the menu info! It looks like it is worth a try. What do you think summer flounder meunere is? Have you tried it? Their prix fix menu seems quite reasonable.

                      1. re: Alica

                        The flounder dish is what my guy ordered on our last visit (see above, Oct 16, 2009 10:24PM). I don't care for cooked fish, so I didn't have a bite, but he loved it and would highly recommend it. Here's a description:
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuniere...

                        I would've sworn there was something red in his dish, but I might be remembering wrong.

                        I also forgot to mention the beautiful fruit tart we took home from our last prix fixe dinner. It was gorgeous and I even took a photo (since I ate it at home), but have yet to download it.

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          Thank you! All sounds great! You are from around the Mysic area, any new restaurant happenings? Maybe in New London, ... We are thrilled about the addition of Bruna's Table to Westerly. We like Up River, Noah's but we are always looking for something new. Du Glace will be very soon on the list.

                          1. re: Alica

                            No, no...I'm from Middletown. ;) I just roam around enough. I hear lots of positive press on Up River. As to new restaurant happenings, I've read with interest about 85 Main in Putnam. Truth is, I have a hard time driving out that far and NOT going to either Sharpe Hill or Heritage Trail. But it certainly sounds like it should go on the list--both yours and mine.
                            http://www.85main.com/

                            I also like Tastings in Mystic--that is a fun day or night out and I enjoy the food, but I'm sure you've been. I wish it were closer so I could get to some of their special "event" tastings.
                            http://www.awineexperience.com/Newsle...

                    2. Pictures from Patisserie duGlace...feast your eyes!
                      http://chowsider.chow.com/restaurants...

                      Stopped in for the pear frangipane tart today and a cappucino. Fruit tart is from my last review.

                      1. NYT review. Guess we've been lucky--never had issues with how the food was seasoned or delivered.
                        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/nyr...

                        1. fyi...

                          http://wfsb.incentrev.com/

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: geminigirl

                            Whoa...and an early Merry Christmas to me. A BIG thanks for posting this gg. Don't need much of an arm-twisting to get here but this will be a nice stocking stuffer so I hope my co-pilot is reading.. :) The money saved will just have to be spent across the way at Feast! Such great Chow in the area of these must-stops.

                            1. re: geminigirl

                              Thank you from the bottom of my appreciative stomach for that link! We LOVE this restaurant. We both worked in high end restaurants in another life so admit we're a tad choosy when dining. Their Gruyere Puffs (Gougeres) alone are a reason to dine there.

                            2. A sad decline of a once good experience. I went for a last meal of sorts. The service was terrible. No one would seat me, so I sat in the bar. The barmaid was terrible. Her only concern was for the locals who had their nightly beer. I ordered my meal and saw the the prices had gone up. Where I once had a full meal with a glass of wine for about $24, the price had increased to about $35. That would be palatable if the service was good. But, as the barmaid informed me "things are tough here" - as though I should pay more since no one wanted to invest in service or a quality experience. My wine was musty. My food was still good, but it's the service that will make an experience complete, I am very sad - I once recommended this restaurant to everyone. Now, it's just not special anymore. And more expensive. And has a wait staff that is a really big pain in the a--. Why do I want to pay to appease someone else's staff. They should be kissing my butt at the end of a hard day when they are charing me more money. I will take Pip's Brasserie any day over this one. I am very sorry to say this.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Zbiz

                                Sadly, I have to agree.

                                After dining here twice in the last 2 months, my observation is du Glace had an ambitious start but is now turning out mediocre bistro fare with very poor service.

                                The only small consolation is their prices, which remain moderate. In terms of quality, they remain easily outgunned by Brasserie Pip (Essex), Cafe Routier (Westbrook) and Le Petit Cafe (Branford).

                                That said, in the interest of fairness I'll keep my expectations low and venture back for Steak Frites , Meuniere, or another low-risk dish before writing them off entirely.

                                1. re: eodell

                                  My husband and I ventured out to Deep River Sat. night to duGlace. We had gotten one of those terrific WFSB gift certficates a few months back and have been waiting for the warmer weather to take a trip down Rte. 9. Well, good thing we went when we did. The waitress came to our table to take drink orders and we asked what red wines they had by the bottle and she said "here's what we've got left" and she recited 3 or 4 different wines. I asked why was that all they had and she she said "this might be our last night for a while", so I guess that means they're closing now but might open when the summer (and boaters) come back. I was really looking forward to this meal and I hate to say it was a disappointment. I ordered the lobster bisque (which I usually don't do because of the calories involved, but felt like I wanted to splurge a bit). When she put the bowl down in front of me, it didn't look like lobster bisque to me and when I put my spoon in there was NOTHING in the broth. My husband called her over and told her and she asked if I wanted to take it off the check and I said "yes". The chef (I think) came out a few minutes later with 2 large grilled shrimp on a plate and asked "who had the lobster bisque"? I put my hand up and told him she had taken it away. He said that she was supposed to have put some vegetables in it before bringing it to me and that the lobster was pureed into the broth. The broth did taste like lobster, but that's it. The rest of the meal was OK. Frites were served with everyone's meal (the steak and the pork dish), but I had ordered the grilled scallops and got about 8 grilled scallops and 3 more grilled shrimp (which weren't on the entree's description). I guess they were trying to use everything up before closing. The frites did look and taste like frozen french fries.

                                  1. re: joan mar

                                    Well the bistro AND the pastry shop are closed! Went by Saturday to a sign in the window of the patisserie, saying they tried to make it work, but just couldn't! Too bad, the pastry shop at least was the best one around.

                                    (On another topic, there is signs of life in the old Feast, not sure what it is yet, but people inside, checked tablecloths on the tables.)

                                    1. re: dennisl

                                      Thanks for the update, however unpleasant. This truly sucks--there goes $100 we spent on gift certificates from duGlace, not to mention the one I had at as a gift from Feast.

                                      I agree--the patisserie was something special. What a shame.

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        Well 2 .5 years and then gone! Shame, they had a huge note on that place.....must have had to walk away.

                                        1. re: few

                                          The fact that Feast and duGlace were selling gift certificates as they're shuttering is BULL$HIT in my eyes. They knew where they were at and played on!" Sorry, OH so sorry, gotta go now! Seeya!!!" No excuses for this behavior, period!

                                          D.

                                          1. re: raskolnikov

                                            In fairness to Feast, my gift certificate there was a gift from the store because a batch of lemon parsley pasta I had bought had sand in it. Drew set it aside for me from the summer and I was saving it to make a special pasta dish, never guessing I should've spent it faster. I'll consider that my mistake, not theirs.

                                            As to duGlace, they sold numerous gift certificates through the Better Connecticut promotion over the holidays, so I do think if they really knew the end was near, that was rather uncool...but on the flip side, maybe they thought the extra traffic would give their business the boost it needed to stay afloat. We really did enjoy du Glace, both the patisserie and bistro.

                                            As it's a 30-minute trip I have no compelling need to make at the moment, can anyone local confirm something I heard re du Glace? That, in fact, they are closed temporarily and plan to reopen? Someone we know from the area said a sign was posted (?) to that effect. It would be great to know if that were the case. Any intel?

                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                              Unless they put a new sign up, I didn't get that impression at all, it seemed as though they were done. I work in the area and haven't heard anything. I was going to check out the place across the street for lunch (El & Elas) this week, so I'll look.

                                              1. re: dennisl

                                                Went by and I it was the same one I had seen. I can't remember the exact verbage, but it was something like "We tried to keep the doors open but couldn't, hopefully we'll see you again sometime."

                                                1. re: dennisl

                                                  I appreciate the update, dennisl. Thanks!