… To Savor Rustic French Cuisine in the Heart of San Diego

… Pour savourer la cuisine française rustique au coeur de San Diego

une maison en Bourgogne

une maison en Bourgogne

Voilà! I’ve discovered a few gemme français right in the heart of America’s finest city. This revelation can easily be confirmed by visiting the areas of North Park and Kensington for a few dining experiences … style francàis … that will not soon be forgotten. That being said:

The Smoking Goat French Bistro, San Diego

The Smoking Goat French Bistro, San Diego

Behold the Goat! … The Smoking Goat, that is. One word sums up the savory fare here – WOW! This is definitely a North Park Bistro (3408 30th Street) that sits atop my “favorites list”. The staff is incredibly friendly …

Rustic French design compliments the food style

The Smoking Goat’s rustic French design compliments the food style

The rustic yet refined French-American restaurant design justly compliments the food style. Deep charcoal painted walls meet with aged brick and wood walls. The large Colonial style chandelier is striking yet unobtrusive and produces a delightfully ambient glow. I absolutely love that the menu is fairly limited because this approach has clearly allowed the chefs to fully master the culinary preparation of each item. Everything prepared at The Smoking Goat is brimming with flavor to the point that the delectable taste on my palate lingers long after the meal is finished! Having sampled much of the authentic rustic French fare served here, I’m sharing a few of my most memorable items:

     Tartiflette of warm St. Albray cheese, leeks and potato cooked in wine and served with grilled ciabatta 

     Portobella Mushroom Melt featuring fennel, eggplant, leeks, goat cheese, red quinoa and kale served atop oven dried tomato puree (I really do keep dreaming of this one – WOW!)

     Griddled Banana Bread served “Bananas Foster style” with vanilla ice cream 

In summary, as we say around here, “The Goat rocks!”. (http://thesmokinggoatrestaurant.com)

Kensington's Culinary Award Winning Bleu Boheme

Kensington’s Culinary Award Winning Bleu Boheme

Boho meets Rustic French Cuisine at Kensington's Bleu Boheme

Boho meets Rustic French Cuisine at Bleu Boheme

A pattern has clearly revealed itself: apparently my palate has a penchant for cuisine Française rustique. And so then … Bleu Boheme! Oui! Oui! Located in Kensington at 4090 Adams Avenue (just off Freeway 15), the menu here is delightfully French bistro. Famous for Les Moule Frites (Mediterranean mussels served with a side order of pomme frites), Bleu Boheme routinely offers six or seven different preparations of the dish. And delicious they are! Having ordered the Entricote de Porc (Marinated pork ribeye steak served with spinach, bacon-potato puree and a fig and port wine pan sauce), I am convinced this is the most flavorful pork chop I’ve ever sampled. Ever. (This girl spent the first dozen or so years of her life on a farm in northwest Iowa and SHE KNOWS PORK!) Having traveled extensively in France, I will happily tell you that Bleu Boheme is as close as one can get to experiencing the French countryside in San Diego. With decor right out of a Français salle à manger, aromas wafting from entrées as they’re delivered past my table to waiting patrons, the lively conversations of a room brimming with diners, and exquisite flavors that linger on my palate, this bohemian dining treasure is most definitely a sensory feast! (http://www.bleuboheme.com

Another salute to Bleu Boheme: Chef Ken Irvine was awarded the 2012 Gold Medallion Award for Restaurateur of the Year. Félicitations! 

Village Vino

Sidebar: If you arrive in Kensington a little early for your dinner reservation at Bleu Boheme (which I highly recommend you do – this community is bustling with entertainment and events), stop in to Village Vino across the street for a glass of wine. They’re friendly, knowledgeable and specialize in wines produced by family owned and operated wineries worldwide. (http://villagevino.com)

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