Left Bank – Santana Row

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We were feeling a bit, adventuresome and devil-may-take-the-calories-if-he-cares-to and it was worth it! We audaciously ordered oysters on the half shell with a tarragon mignonette and horseradish. They were light as air; cool and full of a sweet flavor that is can only be described as romantic. I truly understand why they are an aphrodisiac now. Try them and you will too!

Then came Salade Lyonnaise, which was surprising and fantastic! Frisee is that lettuce that is kind of white and looks like a weed and you would usually pull it out of your salad. This one was served warm, with a poached egg on top, some bacon and some croutons; it was surprising because the frisee wasn’t bitter! The poached egg acted like a salad dressing, so it was kind of like a breakfast but it was salad and you shouldn’t knock it until you try it because it was fantastic!

Quenelle Mere Brazier Sauce Homard is baked scallops and salmon mousse with brandied creamy lobster sauce. I’m not sure what I was envisioning, but this blew me away. It was a round little cake of mousse’d scallop and salmon covered in lobster sauce. It was absolutely amazing!!! The mousse had the flavor – the good flavors of scallop and salmon and none of the bitter or overly fishy taste. This mousse was light and fluffy, tender and I have absolutely no idea how to make it. The flavors were like an excellently choreographed ballet – they danced effortlessly in my mouth!

If you’ve been to Left Bank before and you think you’ve enjoyed their wonders… You haven’t eaten there until you’ve tried the quail! Now I’ve had quail, but apparently there’s quail and then there is… Quail, stuffed with house-made garlic pork sausage couscous served on green cabbage with apples.  Quail is often served a little bit under-done and as a result can be chewy. But this dish was anything but chewy. Garlicky, buttery, tender, and unbelievably rich!!! I keep thinking about it and wanting to eat it again.

To finish off our evening we ordered two desserts because like I said we were feeling quite venturesome. We had Pot De Crème, which is a traditional espresso and chocolate custard served with caramel crème Chantilly and fleur de sel. I don’t speak French, but it was awesome!! It was basically a pot of chocolate custard with whipped cream on top and it was rich, thick, and made me feel like a chocolate vampire. The second dessert was a pumpkin cheesecake. It was the best pumpkin dessert I’ve ever had! They struck the perfect balance between the tang of pumpkin and cheese and the sweet flavor of vanilla and cream.

You know how you’ve watched Jane Austen type movies where they eat fancy food and take their time over their meals. The lighting is slightly dim, there’s wine poured into crystal goblets and the whole thing just screams CLASSY? That’s how this place makes you feel, only instead of feeling stuffy and stiff the atmosphere is elegantly relaxed and the food is as amazing as those books make you imagine they would be.  And it’s right here in San Jose; you don’t have to go back in time or to France to enjoy it!

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