Sunday, July 28, 2013

Eiffel Tower Cafe, Leesburg VA

Sunday, we didn't have any plans until the theater at Shenandoah University at 7pm and Ann wanted to go to brunch, so she looked into a bunch of places and decided she'd like to visit the Eiffel Tower Café in Leesburg, a place that we've never been to together before.

Owner Madeleine Sosnitsky was working the floor while we were there and in between her rounds at other tables, we got to chat with her a little about the business, about exactly how unglamorous and how demanding that it really is, and about how hard it is to find good employees. That was a little more shop talk than I wanted, but when two restaurant owners get together, shop talk will ensue.

Barreyres Always Makes a Good Value Red
We were seated at a table for two in the very comfortable dining room, with its many pictures of the namesake tower and light peach walls, and had to ask for the wine list. Apparently, so few people order off the wine list as to make the list a special request. The wine list is extremely small, so it took no time to narrow down to one of the handful of red wines on offer, a 2010 Haut-Médoc from Château Barreyres, well known for producing typical wines at good prices.

Calmar Provençale
Ann ordered first courses for us: squid provençale and mousseline of duck liver. Both were well done though I wonder if the duck mousseline was made in house.

Mousseline of Duck Liver
Ann surprised me by ordering the bavette (flank steak) and ordering it rare. She's a medium rare kind of girl generally, but she fessed up later that she was worried it would be overcooked. Not to worry, the steak was cooked perfectly as ordered. The fries were decent, but I prefer honest, house-cut potatoes to the coated commercial fries that we were served. That's just me: I want to know that my fries were once potatoes.

Bavette Frites
Me, I wasn't intrigued by any of the main dishes on the menu, so I just ordered merguez frites because I have a soft spot for merguez. This merguez didn't do it for me though: it was cooked to the point where it was tough and dry. And laying in a pool of demiglace didn't help either. Lamb sausage and veal demi: that's a mixed metaphor if I ever tasted one.

Merguez Frites
Our server brought around a dessert tray of desserts that looked industrially made and though I don't usually order dessert, I did want an excuse to linger over coffee, so I ordered a slice of the pear tart, forgetting that my wife doesn't like pears. Sorry, baby!

Tarte aux Poires
I like the well-appointed restaurant, the food is decent, Madeleine is charming, and the prices are extremely reasonable.

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