Monday, March 30, 2009

St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

A couple of months ago, I went to lunch with some coworkers at St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro in Hillcrest. One of my coworkers were raving about the Salmon Salad. I got the Berry Savory Salad, which came with fresh greens, candied pecans, sliced strawberries and goat cheese. I added Salmon for an extra charge. Everyone else got the Salmon Salad and loved it. I am not a salad person, but I give these salads 2 thumbs up.
About two weekends ago, after a day of wondering around the museums at Balboa Park, my friend and I were trying to decide where to go for an early dinner. I was telling her about the fantastic salads at St. Tropez and she suggested that we try it out for dinner. Besides, she happened to have in coupon in her Uptown magazine.
The place is bright and colorful. There is artwork up around the walls and even a mural on the ceiling! Since we arrived a little before 4pm, there was only two tables in the patio area which were occupied. The server was very pleasant. I ordered a filet mignon and my friend had the Coq Au Vin. I forget which wine it was that we had ordered, but it was good.
We were munching on the complementary sliced baguette while we were waiting. Man, that's some good bread.  It was perfectly toasted while still being soft on the inside. I was most addicted to the herb aioli spread the side. This was so much better than butter (I don't say that a lot because I love my butter). The aioli was creamy and the fresh herbs were not overpowering at all. We were so engrossed with the aioli that we didn't even notice that our food hadn't arrived until the server came over and apologized for the wait!
Apparently, they had overcooked my medium-rare steak and they were going to redo it for me. He even asked if I would like something while we wait. All I asked for was more bread and aioli! Later, my friend told me that he was probably offering us an appetizer on the house. I wish she would have kicked me under the table! But we both agreed that if he had not come over, neither one of us would have noticed the delay.
My steak arrived cooked to perfection. I truly appreciated the fact that they went through the trouble of re-cooking my steak instead of trying to serve it to me anyway to see if I'd send it back. The potatoes were nicely seasoned with rosemary. The spinach sauteed with garlic weren't anything special, but good. My steak was only too salty on one corner, thankfully not throughout.
My friend's Coq Au Vin came with both a breast and a leg, potatoes, and sauteed veggies. She said that the chicken was fall off the bone tender and very flavorful. She seemed to enjoy it alot and cleaned her entire plate.

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