Our colleague shared with us that his two favorite French restaurants are Chez Papa Resto and Cafe Claude. We decided on a night of jazz and Cafe Claude in the Claude Lane. The Claude Lane alley way reminds us of Cafe Bastille at Belden Place, but even better.
The restaurant was completely full and the jazz band was playing the standards including Misty. She greeted us with a French good evening and the couple next to us spoke fluent French and shared steak frites.
We started with a carafe of 2011 Syrah from Tolosa Winery, from the Central Coast “Mission 5″ for $26 (or $9 a glass).
Our dining companion enjoyed the Cabillaud À La Basquaise pan roasted local ling cod, sweet peppers, prosciutto, tomato, tapenade and made sure the plate clean.
We also shared a Choux De Bruxelles brussels sprouts, sage, Hobbs smoked bacon for $6 and the chucky bits of bacon went well with the brussels, but we wish we ordered the herbed frites since the brussels were good.
We enjoyed a Truite Amandine farm-raised trout, sliced almonds, cauliflower, raisins, sauce meunière, capers for $20. The flakey trout was buttery and went well with the texture of the almonds and cauliflower. The tanginess from the lemon and capers went well with the meuniere sauce. We highly recommend the dish.
We didn’t make room for the dessert, but next time we will try the Mousse Au Chocolat bittersweet chocolate mousse, hazelnut brittle for $8.
Another dish we hope to sample are the escargots en croute garlic, butter, parsley, almond, pernod, shallots, anchovy, puff pastry for $10. The last time we had escargots were in Belgium at Aux Armes de Bruxelles, Rue des Bouchers, Brussels and we have not found comparable in the States.
Finally, we would return to Cafe Claude and try the poulet rôti half roasted chicken, sautéed swiss chard, niçoise olives, rosemary, lemon for $18. We loved the overall experience at Cafe Cladue lighting, intimate ambiance, our food and our server was very thorough.