Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Left Bank's Monday Special

I had a great time with friends last Monday night at Left Bank in San Mateo. Is it just my imagination or is this French restaurant, planted in the middle of a strip shopping center off Highway 101 in San Mateo, taking on some patina of a Parisian brasserie over the years?

We were there to take advantage of the restaurant’s brilliant Monday half-price wine list, plus August’s Provence dinner special prix fixe ($23.00 per) of Bourride des Pêcheurs (a bouillabaisse-type dish with rockfish, mussels, clams, crab, prawns, sliced potatoes, celery, leeks and fennel, thickened with cream) and a cheese plate of Banon (a robust, creamy Provençal cheese dipped in eau-de-vie and wrapped in chestnut leaves). The bourride was better than I expected, while the cheese was oozingly soft and well-ripened. Altogether, a terrific dinner menu for the price.

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Bourride des Pêcheurs


The wines? Well, we did bring a few bottles of our own, but from the list we ordered a 2004 Pouilly-Fumé “La Moynerie”, Michel Redde et Fils (half-price off the listed $43) that was aromatic, crisp, ripe, juicy, and vibrant—a stunning pairing with the dozen Fanny Bay oysters we ordered.

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We ordered another bottle, also a Loire, from the famous biodynamic producer, Nicolas Joly, which is his 2002 Savennières “Les Clos Sacrés”—an excellent wine, though still very, very young and quite sharp. But with the creamy and somewhat pungent bourride, this powerful Chenin paired very nicely. At half price the normal list of $59, this Nicolas Joly was a steal.

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At the end of the meal, we kicked in $50 per person, including a healthy tip for our enthusiastic waiter, David. For sure, I will be dining at the Left Bank again soon on another Monday!

Left Bank San Mateo
1100 Park Place
San Mateo CA 94403
650.345.2250


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