Last night's dinner before the world premiere of the opera FRAU MARGOT (which was fabulous) was just west of downtown Fort Worth at SAINT-EMILION (3617 W 7th St) billed as a country French restaurant. The decor is truly French provincial, but with an partially open kitchen framed by a glass wall and many gleaming copper pots. The menu is large and varied and offers 2, 3 or 4 course options for a reasonable price (all under $40). The wine list is varied and reasonable with huge French leanings and some quite pricey Burgundies as well.
I started with a glass of ANGLIM VIOGNIER from Paso Robles (Calif) which was quite nice and will opted for the DOMAINE CHANDON Chardonnay from Napa which he later had seconds of.
For a starter the TENDERLOIN TARTARE has a spicy Texas punch and it is the leanest of tartares around. It was odd that it came with a mini-salad of greens since all the meals come with a small salad anyway. Indeed, the SALADE de MON GRANDE PERE is yummy Boston lettuce with walnuts, lardons and vinaigrette--just perfect.
The excellent French bread comes with creamy butter and Fleur de sel salt, but the butter plates lack knives, which seemed odd since we did not want to use the same knife to dip into the big butter churn!
For entrees Will and I immediately drifted to the FRIED SOFT SHELL CRABS (can you believe we have NOT seen them on the menu back home in DC yet!?) with a TARRAGON BEURRE BLANC which came with an odd, but tasty VEGETABLE LASAGNA (carrots, zucchini, eggplant) and two asparagus. We were glad the portion was not monstrous, but the two crabs were indeed quite large and most tasty and meat. I had a glass of the French KIMMERIDGIEN CHARDONNAY (Burgundy) from Jean Marc
Brocard that was perfect with the crabs as it was drier and more mineral in content than the oaky creamy Domaine Chandon from California Will opted for.
Dessert was Will's GRAND MARNIER CHEESECAKE which was okay, but no raves, while my TUILE filled with CREAM CHEESE and BLACKBERRIES flambeed in RASPBERRY LIQUEUR was a wonderful treat as the berries were slightly warm and the cheese not too sweet (and I didn't have to finish it all anyway). Lots of coffee and off to the opera....