Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tired of Chile? Check out Ze French Bistro

We at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn are very enthusiastic about the annual New Mexico Restaurant Week.  With 54 top-notch Santa Fe restaurants participating this year, all offering multi-course menus from $25/couple to $40/person, this is a great time to get out and try some restaurants you might not otherwise get to.

I took the family last night to Ze French Bistro, wanting to take advantage of their three course menu at $20/person.  What a treat!   Between the four of us we had a range of dishes.  My daughter Madeleine had an organic greens salad with candied pecans, pears and blue cheese that was most delicious.  My salad choice was a warm goat cheese on whole wheat bread on greens - yummy.  Madeleine's twin, Jack, started with a plate of smoked salmon, blinis and creme fraiche that he devoured.  Ted started with the traditional onion soup, which was superb.

The entree selections were varied, including duck, salmon, mussels and more.  I happily chose the salmon, which was cooked to perfection with a roasted fennel topping and a light Bearnaise  sauce.  The rest of the family all ordered the mussels and french fries, but they didn't compare favorably to the succulent mussels we have enjoyed at Cafe Paris.  Some guests from the inn were dining at Ze French Bistro as well last night, and they gave rave reviews to the duck.

As for dessert, the children each ordered the Pear Melba Sundae, and that was a huge hit.  A huge parfait of fresh pear, ice cream and mounds of whipped cream. Luckily I got to dig in to some of theirs, as I was not wild about my Warm Pear Crumble.

All in all, I highly recommend Ze French Bistro.  Some things on the menu are far better than others.  The good are amazing, while the not-so-good are just that...not-so-good.  I would also prefer a more intimate and cozy setting than this rather cavernous room adjacent to the Garret's Desert Inn.  Still, hard to beat $20/person for tasty meal.  Over time I will learn what to recommend highly and what to stay away from.  This will be the first visit of many meals at this traditional French bistro.

Ze French Bistro
311 Old Santa Fe Trail

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