Monday, June 2, 2014

Chalet Basque

Chalet Basque
Last night we had a wonderful dinner at the Chalet Basque in the Santa Venetia area of San Rafael California

Estancia Meritage
The owner and executive chef Roger Minhondo is from the French side of the Basque region. He’s created a menu of Basque, French and Spanish bistro classics and serves them family-style that is modern and old fashioned at the same time.

Pate Maison
This place made us happy. The food is amazing, the service perfect and the décor quite nice. The white linen tablecloths, blue-rimmed white plates and wavy water glasses remind you that this is a bistro. 

Watercress Soup
The professional servers are clearly at ease. This is fitting for a Basque restaurant, where food is historically served on large platters. Now updated to reflect modern sensibilities, the food remains infused with its casual, home-style heritage
Roquefort Salad

We had the Beef Bourguignon special with red wine sauce and onions, which was delicious. Also the Roast Duck, a perfectly cooked grilled breast and confit leg of Long Island duckling that arrived with a mild pepper sauce. Again, fantastic.

Beef Bourguignon

We had the Complete Basque Family Style Dinner which adds a superb Pate Maison, a rich soup of the day, a salad with Roquefort Dressing and for dessert, Ice Cream with chocolate sauce or Rice Pudding.

Roast Duck Breast and Duck Leg Confit

The wine list is quite good, it turns out Roger Minhondo enjoys wine collecting as a hobby and searches out lovely wines he can offer at reasonable prices; most of the 70-plus bottle list is in the $30 to $60 range. We had a delicious Paso Robles Meritage that was 69% Cab, 21% Merlot and 10% Verdot. Perfect.  

There is a sense of nostalgia at Chalet Basque and the preparation of each dish adds a special character to Santa Venetia and roots the cuisine to the Basque region.

Highly recommended!

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