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Apr 5, 2014 02:08 AM

Reserve Your Côte de Boeuf?

3 of us just tried a new to us bistro in our neighborhood (St Georges), "Le Bon Georges", and found it quite good. It is where the good Italian chef Del Orto was, but the enthusiastic young owner has put up a new façade, tile floors and other expensive touches to change the appearance to an old style bistro.

He very proudly features beef from the Polmard family, who I think are in the Lorraine and raise Blonde de Aquitaine beef. What was unusual to me was that when I asked about the Côte de boeuf it was explained that this must be reserved in advance! Being unaware of this stratagem I settled for a pavé which was indeed quite good. It is also prominently displayed that the steaks can only be ordered bleu or saignant which is just fine with me, but if you prefer medium to medium rare be fore warned.

Our guest ordered carpaccio au couteau which was generously served and we all agreed it was of good quality. Ms.L. broke the beef monopoly and ordered the fricassée de volaille au vin jaune which was also unanimously declared tasty and at €23 was €6 less than our 2 beef dishes. There is a choice of garnitures and the frites were excellent whereas the gratin was merely good.

Apparently this place has become an immediate hit as it was full for lunch and the pleasant owner cautioned that you should reserve.

Our only fault was the noise level; the thick drapes at Del Orto absorbed noise while the new/old tile and all hard surfaces amplify it.

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  1. "Our only fault was the noise level;"
    Agreed; I concluded that "I chose the worst table, between the toilettes & kitchen window and the American music was blarring (78.8 dB); next time I'll go up to the bar level."

    7 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      We chose the same corner table thinking it would be more private.
      Did you notice the Côte de boeuf (sur resâ)?
      Maybe our resident culinary walking encyclopedia, sometimes known as Ptipois will offer some elucidation.

      1. re: Laidback

        Gladly, but elucidation on what?

        I can't see any reason for reserving a côte de bœuf, except for one: it could be related to the cooking time — a slowly roasted côte would indeed require that the order is made some time in advance.

        For instance, you may call La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais one hour away to reserve your table, and ask that the roasted lamb shoulder arrives on it soon after you arrive. If you order it after you arrive, you'll have to wait.

        If my hypothesis is right, that would mean this restaurant devotes special care to how the meat is cooked. Not a common encounter, even in trendy steakhouses.

        1. re: Ptipois

          There's also the possibility that they just won't buy the cote if you won't. Just saying.

          1. re: souphie

            That could possibly be it. I asked how long in advance and was told a few days. Anyway this was the 1st time I have encountered this requirement and thought it a bit unusual.

            1. re: Laidback

              It is possible that Mr. Polmard (a charming man btw) lets go of his côtes de bœuf with a dropper but I never heard such a thing. To be investigated. Perhaps the walk-in is not large enough for a rack of côtes and they have to order them ready-cut from the provider.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Thanks Ptipois, I am confident you will come up with the answer; I had just never seen this before and wondered if it is a new thing.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  The Poularde de Bresse laquée at Vong for instance is also on order only, and I'm pretty sure the reason is so they buy the bird first (and have time to prepare it).

      2. "when I asked about the Côte de boeuf it was explained that this must be reserved in advance!"
        OK, so here's the deal according to our waitguy today.
        The côte de boeuf is "special", indeed their specialty and rather than run out and disappoint later ordering diners, they ask that it be ordered at the time of reservation. There is also a big notice on the ardoise that this is the case.
        I clean forgot my and Laidback's previous experiences here and did not pre-order the côte but a wonderful French angel with a Glaswegian accent, having heard my conversation with the waitguy and audible moan when said côte went by, sent over two slices for our table (They were superb). A most generous gesture, rewarded with an Armagnac, a small price to pay.