A week ago, my niece MO celebrated her 19th birthday. Thinking that she would go out with friends, my sister DO planned nothing tonight. MO was upset and decided to have lunch at DO's aunt's place. I was heartbroken for her and I quickly planned a fun night for us girls. While she was having dinner, DO and I went to buy our supplies and came back home to decorate the entry way. The night turned out exactly as I had planned it and we had fun. Fast forward one week later and DO announced we would go out for dinner for a post-birthday celebration. We had dinner at Restaurant Chez Claire at the nearby village of Freybouse.
DO reserved a table for 5 for dinner, but my nephew decided to stay home because he had a bad cold. Instead of going just the four of us, we decided to invite and pick up PH, my brother-in-law's brother-in-law (am I making sense? I hope so. he he he). PH was home alone tonight as his wife was in Egypt with a friend. We entered Restaurant Chez Claire at about 7:30PM and many tables were already occupied! Thank God we reserved in advance!
We sat down at a long table. The ambiance of the restaurant was semi-formal, but with a homey feeling. We were feeling comfortable, but this was no ordinary restaurant. Perfect to celebrate an occasional birthday, if you get what I mean.
As soon as we sat down, we were each given a menu and asked what we wanted as an aperitif. I was feeling a little under the weather, so I stuck with water all throughout the meal. The others had beer, Picon, and a bottle of white wine for the meal.
Restaurant open for lunch and dinner
closed: Monday, Tuesday dinner, Wednesday dinner, and Saturday lunch
Pizzeria open: dinner
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only
My bottle of water, which the others ended up drinking as well, because the service was extremely bad tonight! Their drink orders never arrived and when we called the waiter's attention, he admitted that they were forgotten. We must have waited at least 30 minutes for those drinks alone!
To start our meal, we were given these complimentary starters. In a shot glass, there was Braised Lentils topped by a salty whipped cream. This was very good and perfectly portioned in the shot glass. More and I think it would have been too much. I was told that they offer different complimentary starters every time.
|Salade de Pissenlits|
I was seated beside my brother-in-law, TH. He ordered a Salad and a Pizza. DO advised him otherwise as the salads alone are copiously served, but he was set on having a Salade de Pissenlits before his pizza. DO was right, the salad was huge! By the way, Pissenlit is Dandelion in English. The salad was served with roasted potatoes and bacon bits, and TH offered some for me to taste. It reminded me a little of Arugula, which is my favorite type of salad greens.
|Ravioli with Scallops and Langoustine on the side|
DO, PH, and I ordered the same dish - Ravioli with Scallops and Langoustine (small lobster).
We were served the fresh raviolis in a small bowl-type plate. I had a problem with that. I would have preferred a flat plate, which would have featured the fresh ravioli beautifully and frankly, it was hard to cut through the raviolis in this plate above and get a bite of the scallops in one mouthful. I was disappointed with this dish. Not only with its presentation, but also the flavors. I couldn't taste the flavor of scallops in the stuffing of the ravioli. The fresh pasta was highly appreciated, but the rest was blahhh. The sauce was too liquid-y and lacked in seasoning.
On the side of the dish, we were also served two Langoustines, which are small lobsters. Again, I was disappointed because one of the Langoustines was undercooked. We were given lemon wet tissues to wash our hands and get the stink off. This was one of expensive dishes in the menu. If ever I eat here again, be certain I won't be picking this dish.
One each tables, there was a cute little framed blackboard with the specials of the day. The photo above shows the side with the desserts. PH and I ordered the Assiette de Sorbet Maison.
Assiette de Sorbet Maison - Plate of Homemade Sorbets
Flavors (from left to right) : Mirabelle, Strawberry, and Apple
The Mirabelle sorbet was my favorite amongst the three. Sweet and fruity. The strawberry was good too and the apple had a hint of sourness. This was the perfect way to end the meal (and to cool down our tempers - after the forgotten drinks, TH's pizza again took forever to arrive!!!).
Dinner for us five cost 166€ (drinks, main dish, pizza, salad, and desserts). It is a little more expensive than what I am used to, but DO says it is the average price to pay. The restaurant had several parking spaces right outside its establishment. The place itself was well-decorated, a mix of traditional and modern. The food was given mixed reviews at our table. While the pizzas and salad were excellent, none of us really enjoyed the Ravioli dish. On the other hand, I loved my dessert. My only main complaint for tonight was the poor service, where several times we felt forgotten!
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