Sunday, March 8, 2009

Le Figaro: All About the Croque Monsieur

Was in Greenwich, CT, yesterday enjoying the wonderful weather and the frenzied lil dogs dragging their owners down sidewalks. Near the Greenwich Cinema is a charming restaurant called Le Figaro; Otto and I went in for a quick bite to eat, but stayed for a full-blown meal. The interior is so decidedly 'Parisian bistro' without being cheesy or overdone, I was instantly captivated.

Here’s a quick look at what we ordered:

First, we split the Salmon Tartar served with capers, eggs and chives.
This was a refreshing way to start our meal, and the perfect size for splitting. There was an abundance of lemon in the dish--not overpowering--which helped the salmon keep its wonderful, vibrant coral color. Good dish.

Next, I ordered a shrimp risotto cooked in lobster bisque with mussels.
This was nice too. The risotto was cooked perfectly, and I appreciated the generous serving of mussels. I thought the shrimp were a tad rubbery and bland; the dish actually might’ve benefited from leaving them out.

I know I’m a little short on detail. I didn’t have my notepad with me, and wasn’t planning on writing up our visit. But I really do need to mention the sandwich Otto ordered, the Croque Monsieur ($11), served with some delectable shoestring fries. Have a look:
I’ve only had one other Croque Monsieur in my lifetime, in Montreal. It was pretty lame; served cold, not grilled (the indignity!), with some ham and cheese, on white, processed bread.

As you can see from the picture, Le Figaro ain’t playin. I’m not dissing the other dishes we ate, because they were fine, but this simple sandwich is where it was at. Otto said it reminded him of the countless Croque Monsieurs he had ordered from outdoor vendors in Paris: smooth, savory Gruyere cheese; thick, syrupy ham; served on grilled bread and fried in butter, with another slice of bubbly Gruyere on top. This was the ultimate comfort food.

For dessert, Otto and I split a very rich, dense chocolate cake, with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
This was also very good. I don’t care for sweet chocolate; I’m only interested if it is bittersweet or dark. Luckily, Le Figaro’s cake reminded me in taste and texture of David Glass’s Ultimate Chocolate Truffle Cake, one of my favorites. I still prefer David Glass’s, but this received high marks.

I look forward to visiting Le Figaro again. Neither the appetizer nor my entrĂ©e were home runs, but definitely enjoyable-- the salmon tartar was actually pretty great. I particularly loved the bistro’s authenticity and ambiance (many of the staff were French). But the service, along with that delectable Croque Monsieur, was where Le Figaro soared.

Le Figaro
372 Greenwich Ave
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 622-0018

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the food looks amazing, I really want to try the salmon tatar!