Sunday, March 14, 2010

Restaurant Experience: Bistro Jeanty!

Introdution to Table Service has been a fun class, but sometimes you got to get out and see how service works from the customer perspective.  Field Trip it is! Off to Bistro Jeanty in Yountville to compare our service abilities with those of Napa Valley service professionals. Oh yeah, and to eat.  That is kind of what we culinary school kids like to do after all.
I have had the priviledge to eat in a lot of French bistro's, both in France and here in America, and I would say that Bistro Jeanty ranks pretty high on the list regarding staying true to the roots of the bistro concept. Enough about my opinions, back to the food.  From left to right: Salade aux Lardons et Oeuf Mollet (Escarole and Soft Boiled Egg Salad with a Warm Apple Smoked Bacon Dressing), Langue D'Agneau (Warm Lamb Tongue and Potato Salad), Salad de Gesiers (Frisee and Duck Gizzards with Toasted Hazelnuts and Mustard Dressing), and Terrine de Lapin (Homemade Rabbit Pâté with a Celery Root Apple Salad and Mustard Dressing).
Next up, the warm appetizers! Soupe A L'Oignon (Caramelized Onion Soup with Gruyère Cheese), Petit Sale aux Lentilles (Pork belly with a Lentil and Foie Gras Ragout), Creme de Tomate en Croute (Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry), and Quenelles de Brochet (Pike Dumplings with Lobster Sauce).

One of my favorite menu items of the day was the Roasted Bone Marrow with Veal Jus and Crostini. Although presented in a playful manner, marrow is not for the squemish of stomach! But if it makes you feel better, bone marrow is one of the most nutritionally dense things you could ever eat next to a Centrum. Don't think too hard, just eat it!
One of my least favorite items on the menu was the Escargots with Garlic Pastis Butter. It doesn't matter if it is a Twizzler, I can't stand anything that tastes like licorice, even delicious fatted-farm raised snails from France.
Not many of us had room left for entrees, but if you don't order it, you can't try it. Côtes de Boeuf à la Printanière (Braised Beef Shortrips with Potato Puree and Spring Vegetables), Rognons de Veau au Poivre Vert (Veal Kidneys with a Creamy Green Peppercorn Sauce), and Cassoulet (Baked beans with Duck Confit, Sausage and Apple Smoked Bacon). That's right kidneys. Unless I need one donated, I am never going to ask for kidneys again.
At this point in the meal, we all started to realize that our dress pants didn't have the much needed elastic waistband like our chef pants. But, that never stopped any of us from ordering dessert before.  Here is the signature Bistro Jeanty dessert of Tarte Tatin with Creme Fraiche. Put a fork in us, we are done.  Oh yeah, the service was really good too. I think that is why we came in the first place.  Even so, compliments to the chef first and foremost. Merci beau coup Bistro Jeanty.

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