La Côte Café
I’ve written on a few occasions about the restaurant La Côte Crêperie, most recently last November. It’s a small place, just eight tables or so, about a mile from our house. And until recently it had a classic French crêperie menu. Savory crêpe for dinner, sweet crêpe for dessert. Except that I was partial to their croque-monsieurs, which I would usually choose as my main dish. And I love their “côte salad”: butter lettuce, shaved fennel, apple, shallot vinaigrette. My typical meal, then, would be the salad, the croque-monsieur, and their Belle-Hélène dessert crêpe (pear, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce). Plus a glass of French cider.
When we ate there last March, we discovered a change in the menu. The crêpe options were significantly reduced, and new entrees were added. Plus, the chalkboard that once listed the crêpes of the day instead offered additional non-crêpe entrees. Fortunately, the côte salad was still available. So too the croque-monsieur and Belle-Hélène. But I’m a sucker for carbonara. When I discovered the menu’s new pasta section, including fettucini carbonara with slab bacon, parmesan, and cream, that’s what I ordered.
A couple of months ago, I realized that the menu change was accompanied by a name change. The restaurant is now La Côte Café and Wine Bar. No simple crêperie any longer. Which is a pity. But I do love that carbonara.
After a four-month absence, we returned this evening. I suppose sometimes I lack imagination. I started with the côte salad and cider, followed by the carbonara. No Belle-Hélène for dessert this time though. Too filling. Instead I went for the crème brûlée, which was excellent.
Meanwhile, Gail also ordered côte salad, followed by their delicious lasagna and then a dessert crêpe, the sucrée. Just a simple crêpe with butter and sugar.
Oh, about the carbonara. You probably know that the sauce includes raw egg. La Côte plates the pasta with half an egg shell sitting on the top, the raw egg resting in the shell. You get to pour the egg out over the pasta and mix it all up, the warm pasta and cream sauce cooking the egg. When the dish is served, a small plate is brought to the table, of the sort that might hold a boiled egg, perfect for disposing of the used egg shell.
We left happy.