Published on September 23rd, 2012 | by Kaela Miltimore
Grilled Cheese & Pommes Frites for Restaurant Week @ Cafe Chloe
Restaurant Week at Cafe Chloe
One of my favorite parts about September, besides the beginning of Fall, is San Diego Restaurant Week. And the fact it falls on the week of my birthday makes it even better.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Restaurant Week – It’s when different restaurants all over the city create a special prefix menu, generally of their more high ticket items, and offer them at a discounted rate. This generally falls between $15-$20 for lunch, and $25-$40 for dinner. Many of the upper scale restaurants participate in this event, so it’s a great opportunity to indulge in a meal you wouldn’t normally dish out that kind of dough for.
This past week, we decided to celebrate at a little gem of a restaurant called Cafe Chloe, located in the East Village area of Downtown. It’s the cutest little bistro style French restaurant, with an oh so European feel. I loved it. Cafe Chloe’s prices are just a little bit higher than others we have reviewed, but the unparalleled quality of food, service and ambiance are well worth a special treat, and are in line with most downtown restaurants.
We actually did take advantage of the Restaurant Week dinner, but given that the restaurant had a dim and romantic ambiance, we chose to respect the couples around us and not use our flash photography. So, you will have to just image how beautifully delicious our meals looked. However, we liked Cafe Chloe so much, we decided to go back for brunch on Sunday – and we have amazing photos from that to share with you!
For the Restaurant Week Prix fix style menu we did have choices, which I love, unlike post prix fix menus – which is why I am not always a fan of them. We each got to choose from 3 starters, 3 main dishes, and 3 desserts.
I chose Moroccan Mussels to start which were buttery, and uniquely seasoned with saffron and white wine. Mike chose the Macaroni, Pancetta & Bleu D’Auvergne Gratin. I have to say, I was a bit remorseful I had not ordered the fancy Mac n’ Cheese because it was SO good. Honestly, the best Mac n’ Cheese I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. It was baked, so it had that incredible crusty top, with melted blue cheese, and chunks of pancetta throughout. This Bleu D’Auvergne is probably my new favorite type of blue cheese – not too pungent, but still has that creamy kick. The dish was decadent to say the least, and very satisfying. I will surely go back on a rainy day this winter just for some of that amazing comfort food. On a regular day this dish seems pricey at $15 dollars, but when we saw the normal portion, it could easily feed 3 people, and trust me it is worth every penny. For our main dishes we both chose the Steak & Frites with Bearnaise Butter, Roasted Corn, Cremini Mushrooms and Asparagus. I still don’t know what cut of steak this was but it was literally melt in your mouth good. It was salty, and the perfect layer of flavor. Our dessert choice was a no brainer – a pistachio bread pudding with espresso caramel and house made ice cream. It was heavenly. Moist and light with the perfect ratio of bread pudding to ice cream. The espresso caramel was the perfect compliment.
Basically as soon as we left that night we knew we had to come back for brunch. On Sunday we went back, and were seated on the small patio. The restaurant is small enough to feel very intimate but still have an open, airy feel with the dining room opening up into the patio. The service this day was exceptional. When the waiter saw me place my purse on the ground next to me he quickly brought out a special Cafe Chloe table purse hanger! I was so impressed!
Mike ordered the heftiest grilled cheese I have ever seen. It was a darker molasses type bread grilled in brown butter and oozing with creamy fontina cheese, salty prosciutto and herbs. It was beyond amazing. I never would have thought to use fontina for a grilled cheese, but I will definitely attempt to replicate this sandwich at home someday soon, right after I renew my gym membership!
I decided, fairly quickly, on the Mushroom & Bleu D’Auvergne (Blue Cheese) tart and a house salad. The tart came out hot, and smelled amazing. The inside was a medley of small chopped wild mushrooms surrounded by a thick, buttery, herbed crust. It was topped with the melted blue cheese and delicate greens. It had the perfect amount of richness without being too much, and paired with the cold salad it was perfect. Despite it’s size, it was very filling. The salad was different than any salad I have had before. It consisted of butter lettuce in a house dressing, sweet orange cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers of all shapes, colors and sizes! I asked the waiter about them, and he informed me they get all of their produce locally, and these cool cucumbers were from Suzie’s Farm just a bit south of here near the border.
We shared the Pomme Frites with 3 dipping sauces. The fries are very French style, skinny and so flavorful. The dips were delicious as well. A regular aioli, a green watercress and lime aioli, and spicy ketchup with African chili (really good).
Overall I must say Cafe Chloe is one of my very favorite spots in San Diego, and I will be telling everyone I know about this one.721 9th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
Mon-Fri 7:30 am – 10:30 pm
Sat 8:30 am – 10:30 pm
Sun 8:30 am – 9:30 pm