Monday, February 8, 2010
Ms. Lin and I rarely head over to East Bay but if we do, we have to make the most of it. Sadly, it was a rainy night and cold! (1/17/10) This was our second stop of the night. I want to start with the bad before we get to the good so this post will go first. Ms. Lin had done some research on what to try as we made our way to Berkeley. At first I was a bit excited to try Grégoire because it was suppose to be a French Bistro, or so I thought! It was very close to the Cheeseboard Pizza that was our first stop. Still, in the rain it is not fun especially when it is windy. As we walk up to this place, I notice that this is really a tiny hole in the wall. I am not kidding too. When Ms. Lin said that it would be small and hard to find seating, boy was she not kidding! There was probably less than 5 seats/stools inside and there were only 2 tables outside. It didn't help that half the table was exposed in the rain. They have one small menu displayed by the door and it was a little hard to squeeze by and read but eventually I was able to look at it. I didn't really think there was anything that sounded unique or great on the menu that I would like to try. It was a bit disappointing and I was looking forward to the meal too! =*( If you can't tell already, this will not be a happy review. lol
First off we got the Crispy Potato Puffs that apparently was highly recommended. Ms. Lin asked if they could give us these first if they came out first and they did. It was piping hot and fresh. For $4.50 you get a decent amount and the boxes they use are so adorable! Sadly, the food didn't reflect the packaging in my opinion. The dipping sauce they provided was a honey mustard grain that didn't really compliment the potato puffs at all. I felt they were a bit bland and fell flat. Personally I can probably make better and more flavorful potato puffs. Add a bit of cheese and some more seasonings.... Mmmmm. Here, not so much. I barely ate this and left the rest for Ms. Lin to eat. She didn't think they were that bad and I explained my reasoning. Hey if she thought they were decent then she could have it all. O=9 Maybe I am spoiled by yummy food in LA, personally I'd rather have Porto's potato balls. After tasting this, I didn't have much hope for the main dish.
For the main course we ordered the Gruyere and Prosciutto stuffed Chicken Breast wrapped in Puff Pastry served with Onion Jus. Doesn't that sound delish on paper? Well I thought so but this really was nothing but a glorified Hot Pocket! lol Ms. Lin could see where I was coming from. It looks like a regular Hot Pocket in many ways. Taste, well for the price... I'd rather eat Hot Pockets. O=9 There really wasn't much flavor this dish. The chicken was decently cooked in tenderness but bland, followed by more items to wash out the taste. Normally I am a huge cheese fan but I found the funk of the Gruyere to be a bit on the nauseating side. My motto with cheese usually is the stinkier the better, but the taste of the cheese was a bit on the rancid side for me. I was trying to pawn off everything to Ms. Lin the whole night and she knew. The only thing that made the meal passable was that I had an Orangina with me to help wash it down. Thank you Orangina! lol O=P
All in all I was let down by this place. Maybe I was expecting too much from this tiny hole in the wall? I thought the place looked cute and quaint from the outside. You can watch the chef cook from the window. I don't think she is the proprietor but she was doing all the work in a small space. Got to give her credit for working it. Still, I was underwhelmed and the rain didn't help. Thank goodness I was really smart in convincing Ms. Lin to just order the 2 items that seemed decent and not order a bunch just to try. I have gotten a lot smarter about food these days. Try some, then order more and not to be greedy is my new motto. These are words to live by these days. I feel like a lot of these highly rated or hyped about places are really just so-so or sub-par. Even though I am very adventurous in finding new conquests, I sure have hit a lot of bumps along the way. What I suffer through for the craft. lol To leave things on a positive note, the boxes are super duper cute! Love the design! lol
2109 Cedar Street
Berkeley, CA 94709-1567