Friday, January 20, 2006

Mille Fleurs

Ah. Where else in San Diego county can you take a dark drive on a country road and find yourself at a highly regarded restaurant? There might be one or two others, but don’t know of them I guess.

Besides finding it, Mille Fleurs was a little bit of a mystery as the Restaurant Week menu hadn’t been posted online but I figure they have an always changing menu and didn’t want to lock themselves into a specific menu. For $30 it would be a good chance to try the place even if they served Le Royal with Cheese. Okay, maybe not. (God, I hope not!)

We were seated in a more casual dining room near the bar. No doubt, the main dining room would be a nice upgrade, but this was fine. Our younger female server was excellent – warm, friendly, completely professional and knowledgeable – a real standout. Everyone we encountered was great and not a bit of stuffiness that could have been possible.

We settled in and a minute or two our server presented with our menus and asked if we had dined there before. We said we had not. She told us about RW and joked we were fortunate (in a completely welcoming way) to be able to get reservations (I called nearly a month ago). RW menu options were on one page and she also said they were serving a limited regular menu which was on another page. I didn’t study it too closely, but perhaps 15 items, reasonably priced, ranging from soups, salads, and main dishes like veal tongue and seared ahi.

We’re wine novices so we didn’t ask for a full wine list, but enjoy a glass of wine with dinner so she presented us with what she called a special list for the week that had around 15 wines available by the bottle (around $26 to 36) and by the glass for around $7.50 to $9. Wow. Nice! I mentioned what entrée I was interested in and she made a couple of suggestions. We ended up with couple of generous pours.

Now the menu. I won’t have all the details since I didn’t take notes nor did I swipe the menu. I hope I get it close.

Starters

  • Salmon Cakes with Asparagus. 2 small cakes, but tasty, on a bed of equally tiny asparagus spears. My wife was able to grab a small bite before I finished them off.
  • Italian Parsley Soup with Smoked Chicken. A good sized bowl of puréed soup, with small chunks of chicken.
Main Dishes
  • Duck Confit. This came with mashed potatoes and a small variety of vegetables across the plate. The meat, as expected, was falling off the bone, tender and tasty. There was a good amount of meat. This was a great choice.
  • White Fish with Lemon Sauce, Capers and Cauliflower Puree. My wife enjoyed this. It was much better than it sounds and was served piping hot.
Dessert
  • Sampling of Sorbets (Berry, Mango, Chocolate) plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Chocolate and Coffee "Pot De Crème". A lighter version of a chocolate mousse. This was topped with a bit of raspberry sauce. Perfectly fine, but certainly not the best dessert of the last year.

Verdict?
Excellent! We enjoyed each course. This was a great fine dining experience. Food presentation and plating was fairly simple and direct. The meal timing was fine (I thought it was too quick on Sunday at Pamplemousse Grille) and I can’t think of any complaints. We drove back home talking about what a nice restaurant it was and we’d be back for some special occasion some time. Our server genuinely seemed to care how our meal, and each course, tasted – something we didn’t from the waiter get at Pamplemousse Grille – he didn’t even ask.

Notes
The other menu options were: a salad of mixed greens, hanger steak and a mixed fruit dessert. Valuewise, a direct comparison to their website menu isn’t possible since none of these appear on that menu. The RW menu listed that a 20% service change would be added to the bill and I left it at that, but upon reflection, service was so good, that I should have added an additional tip.

www.millefleurs.com

Next up…
…is Island Prime. I see the menu on the Cohn website has been scaled back slightly from the RW website which had 4 courses. The lobster bisque and a scallop risotto have been cut. I’m looking forward to this one.

3 Comments:

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March 27, 2006 2:59 PM  
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