Restaurant Review: Au Revoir

The best surprises are the ones that you idly fall upon, especially after a rough start to the first half of the week.

Looking back on my blog over the past few months, I re-realized quite a few things, I'm incredibly back blogged with a hojillion photos to edit, life has been utterly about getting fit or food and I need to blog more often; especially about food.

It's been an incredibly up and down type week, so I welcomed good company tonight as we took a stroll through my neighborhood (Hillcrest) in search of a good place to have a glass of wine, great eats and good conversation.  Right down the street from my house is a restaurant I've been dying to try, Au Revoir which used to be "La Vache."  Our intention was to actually head to Arrivederci, but Au Revoir's chic decor and slogans of "honest and simple ingredients" on their window trimmings caught my attention.

Once inside, the bistro style tables, chandelier lighting, uptown chic decor and rich aroma, were completely inviting and I couldn't believe that it took me so long to give this place a try.  The restaurant is cozy and quaint but with a good amount of tables, both inside and outside for sidewalk dining.  Au Revoir Bistro is situated among an interesting array of businesses including Pinkberry, 7-11, a doughnut shop and an art store, but that's the beauty of Hillcrest, each corner can bring you to a different discovery.

I think that what a restaurant serves you as a complimentary appetizer, if they serve anything at all,  says a lot about the food you are about to encounter.  Most often, it's my favorite part of the food pyramid, the grand carb'olicious assortments of bread with either butter or a balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Sometimes you get an olive tapenade or a fruit chutney of sorts, but this time, we were served a plain wheat rye with a saffron garlic like aioli. Incredibly NOMS!

I'm believer in that things happen for a reason and even in eating, sometimes the answer to all your woes or questions will be revealed.  So with a glass of Rouge C'est La Vie, I let this week's woes be, accepted that life will bring what it does, and enjoyed the moment.

What we ordered? As usual, almost everything but here's a breakdown.

Appetizers: Oven cooked snails with a parsley and garlic butter, Flash fried calamari served with a homemade tartare sauce.  The Escargot was heavenly, the puff pastry, diced tomatoes within the parsley butter and consistency of the snail just made for a rich yet delicate treat.  The calamari, also good, but paled in comparison to the Escargots of course.

One thing I can say though, is that not all fried foods are created equal.  Often times, restaurants do little to maintain the proper temperatures/quality of their oil, so foods get inundated with that heavy absorbed oil.  When a food is fried right, the crispiness is there without all the heaviness.

Also added to our appetizers list was an order of their fries.  As an avid carb and potato lover, I also always stress that there are good fries and then there are GOOOOOD fries.  The cut, cooking duration and type of oils and seasoning make all the difference in the world.  Thinly cut, these perfectly cooked fries had a hint of Lavender! Paired with their house aioli sauce, my palette and heart cried NOMS!

Entree 1: Filet Mignon served with a Bearnaise sauce, sauteed green beans, Lavender Fries and a roasted tomato.  Steak is a tough one for me because since I grew up in Alberta Canada, the beef there is pretty hard to compete with.  With that said, the Bearnaise sauce was to die for and while it was a small part of the plate, the roasted tomato with the herb crumble, COMPLETELY made this dish!  The green beans were over cooked and waaay over seasoned, but they re-made the green beans for us and it was much better the second time around.

I saved one of the best for last!
Entree 2: Homemade wild mushroom ravioli served over a bed of spinach and fresh herbs in a flavored butter sauce.  Incredible, absolutely fantastic and so flavorful.  Simple ingredients, amazing flavor and just a well composed dish.

Now the absolute best for last.  I'm not a dessert person, I'm not a fan of caramel and in a lifetime of various types of Flan, this is by far the best I've ever had.  In fact it's so amazing, I think it rivals some of my favorite desserts, including my own dark chocolate souffle that I adore.  The caramel isn't the thick, or the overly sweet type that you're used to on cakes or in chocolate bars, it's this light liquor infused caramel with a sauce like consistency.  The entire dish is light, with a merriment of soft flavors and is the perfect individual portion size to end the evening.

I left with a full belly of good eats and a new compromise with my fitness complex.  While I'm on this insane journey of getting fit and living well, I'll never have the will to stop eating what I love, so I may as well enjoy both and work towards a happy balance.

Needless to say, I'll be doing lunges or walking to this restaurant quite often.

Cheers till next time my readers
xoxo Chow.

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