Dining review

July 13, 2000


o7 On July 14, 1789, French citizens, protesting the absolute rule of

King Louis XVI, stormed the Bastille, a state prison that symbolized the

autocratic and arbitrary government, marking the beginning of the French


Today, Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, celebrated with

parades, parties and large fireworks displays, not unlike our own


Independence Day. In Newport-Mesa, several French restaurants are

preparing special menus for the holiday, allowing us to share in Friday's



Bistro Le Crillon (2523 E. Bluff Drive in Eastbluff Center, Newport

Beach, (949) 640-8181) prepares a three-course, fixed-price menu that

features some of chef Chantal's favorite dishes. The feast will start

with a complimentary glass of French champagne, a perfect complement to

either of the hors d'oeuvres.

Celebrants may choose between country pates served over baby greens

with cornichons, small vinegary pickles, or fresh gooselivero7 foie

grasf7 served with toast points. The o7 foie grasf7 carries an

additional charge of $18 (it serves two), but is well worth it. It's

perhaps the best I've had anywhere.

Entree selections are a rack of lamb roasted in the wood-burning oven

and served with o7 haricots vertf7 (green beans) or breast of chicken

with a morel mushroom sauce.

Vive la difference!

Finally, dessert will be fresh fruit tartlets with lemon custard.

Dinner will be served in two seatings on Friday and Saturday, and will

cost $39.50 per person.

Mistral Restaurant (440 Heliotrope Ave., Corona del Mar, (949)

723-9685) is using the Bastille Day holiday to kick off its summerlong

Tour de France celebration, which will offer various fixed-price menus

throughout the season. The menus will carry two prices, the higher will

include a glass of wine especially paired with each course by owner Ed


The holiday menu, which is available Friday only, will start with a

selection of country pates and French dry sausage or a baby-greens salad

dressed with a mustard-vinaigrette and capped with baked brie cheese in

puff pastry.

Entrees include a grilled ribeye steak topped with shallots and garlic

butter. It's served with o7 pommes fritesf7 (French fries) and o7

haricots vertf7 . The other entree choice is chicken cordon bleu, a

breaded breast of chicken stuffed with smoked ham and cheese, on a bed of

stewed tomatoes.

A caramelized apple tart with vanilla ice cream will top off the meal.

The dinner is priced at $16 per person without wine, or $29 per person

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