By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
"I adore Harry Potter," one of the guys says. "I've read all seven of the novels."
"Oh, um, right. I think I've heard of that. Wasn't it a movie or something?"
"Uh huh. It's about these kids who're wizards. They go to wizard school. In England."
1576 E. Oakland Park Blvd.
Oakland Park, FL 33334
Region: Oakland Park
"Hmmm. Sounds interesting."
I'm rolling my eyes, practically spewing garlic butter. We've eaten a fine saucer of escargots ($8.25) by this time and a revelatory plate of homemade pâté campagnard ($8.75) served with slices of pepper-crusted dried sausage, puckery little cornichons, and heaps of prosciutto. They've arranged the meats on a finely dressed mixed-greens salad; it comes with an endlessly replenished basket of bread. The total effect is so bright and sharp that it's like being shaken awake by a siren. Eimet's pork pâté is deep and fleshy; the pepper and salt of the dried sausage cuts through the pâté's velvet like a well-stropped razor. You unfurl the prosciutto and place it in wisps of pink smoke on slices of buttered bread. The salad is tangy and floral and grassy. And there's enough food here to comfortably serve a crowd. This too is going home for tomorrow's lunch.
Out comes a scrumptious skirt steak ($16.25), tender and meaty, upholstered in a reduced bordelaise sauce the color and texture of melted chocolate. Homey mashed potatoes round out and soften the rich flavors, along with a pile of swiftly sautéed summer squashes. Wrap it up.
We've accumulated a heap of to-go bags. But we're still eyeing the pastry shelves and figure we can stuff down at least one petite royal pastry ($3.55), a composed wedge of chocolate mousse balanced on a buttery crust. It's delicious. Our waitress flounces out with one more bag — stuffed with complimentary croissants.
With regrets, we leave the rest of the menu for another time: the merguez sausage sandwich with harissa, the half rotisserie chicken, sautéed grouper with pesto, croque monsieur, eggs dipped in mushroom sauce. The duck confit salad. The braised lamb shank. The fish soup with rouille. We have a future here of croissants au beurre, apricot tarts, napoleons, and Paris-Brest pastries.
And you know, nothing sweetens a big, fat serving of humble pie like a dollop of hazelnut chantilly cream.