As I mentioned in my piece for lohud.com, fans of Buffet de la Gare can relax. Saint George, the new restaurant that took over the space where that venerable French spot was for 30 years, has settled in to the role nicely.
Kelli and I stopped in for supper at the bar on a cold Tuesday night, and loved everything we tried. Especially the steak frites!
The restaurant, owned by chef Chris Vergara (of Harpers and Meritage fame) and Jason Steinberg, who runs the front of the house and makes a fine cocktail, looks nearly the same: mahagony bar, white walls, dark trim. Marble tables have been added, and the front was bumped out just enough to accommodate a few tables.
Dock Street Cocktail, made with bourbon, fresh grapefruit, winter spices:
Southside Sazerac, made with rye, raw sugar, orange and decanter bitters, absinthe:
We ordered oysters, St. Simon nd Spinny Creek, both East Coast, both exceptional. Cold, plump and briny.
We also tried three from the charcuterie section of the menu… fantastic, melt-in-your-mouth chicken liver mousse, along with ribbons of jambon de Bayonne and a country terrine with little pockets of texture for pop.
Alongside were housemade pickles and a nose-clearing mustard, as well as some very good bread.
There are other hors d’oeuvres — little crostini, a frisee salad, butternut squash soup and mussels — but after the satisfying small plates, we went straight for entrees.
Skate was tender and moist, with a nutty brown butter and just the right balance of capers.
Steak frites — I went with onglet rather than rib eye, and chose the Bearnaise sauce — was life-changing. The meat, just pink, as requested, had the right amount of chew and an explosion of flavor.
All I did was daintily dip my fork tip into the sauce. The steak was terrific without it. (That sauce is an achievement, though: Creamy and lemony and great for dipping fries.)
No dessert this time, though Steinberg poured us a Madeira to give our palates a taste of something sweet. Anyway, I didn’t feel like I had to order dessert. I knew I’d be back. Probably at that table in the corner, wracked with indecision about what excellent dishes to choose that time around. Whole roasted fish? Chicken fricassee? Duck with apples and Brussels sprouts? Hard to know for sure, but it’ll be hard to pass on that steak frites.