Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stop #15 - L'Antibes

Aaron's taking over today for this long-overdue review. Y'all be nice to him, okay?

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Many of you dedicated readers may be asking yourselves "Hey, what's with the restaurant odyssey?  Did they quit? Give up? Forget? Losers."  Well we haven't forgotten, and we most definitely haven't given up.  As I sit here on Tuesday January 14th I'll give you the Cliffs Notes first.  We're still on the RO, and we just ate at Barrel 44 a couple of weeks ago, so be as prepared to read some reviews as we are to write them.  We've got lots of catching up to do.

Three seasons ago in late April Gwen and I were joined by dear friends and neighbors Dru and Jeannie for a fabulous evening at L'Antibes.  The restaurant holds special memories for Dru and Jeannie, so when this somewhat arduous tour was first conceived and shared with our peoples in the 'hood, they excitedly committed to join us on our first trip to this well-reviewed restaurant. Now, L'Antibes isn't actually on High Street, although technically its address is. But one of the rules Gwen and I created, that we shall dine in every Short North visible from High Street, is affectionately called "The L'Antibes Rule" because a) we've never been there and b) it has a reputation for being one of the finest restaurants in the area, if not the entire city. So far the only other qualifier for this rule is the delicious Tasi but given our progress I suppose there is still time for others to join the list.




Jeannie and Dru (this was not taken the night of our dinner)

While you might have to wait another year or so for the final verdict, I can't imagine any contenders in the current line-up of Short North eateries that would challenge L'Antibes for a complete dining experience.  The French-inspired food was both wonderful to eat and beautiful to see, and was clearly prepared and served with the (European) respect that food, and the opportunity to eat, is a privilege never to be taken lightly.  I trust take-out is not an option here.


L'Antibes is quite small and intimate. When the weather turns warmer, they have outdoor seating allowing for more guests, but it wasn't quite patio season so we dined indoors.

We started with cocktails that we can't remember, not because they were strong but because it's been about 9 months and we didn't write them down, and an amuse-bouche of mushrooms on a little crostini.  This photo alone tells you the evening will be one of fine dining, doesn't it?




  


Gwen and Jeannie both had the smoked salmon appetizers (1), I had the crab cake (2) and Dru had the foie gras (3).






Salads were had by all - Gwen a spring salad (4), Dru and Jeannie both ordered avocado salads (5), and I had a green salad with beets.  Delish.





In a shocking move, Gwen did not order scallops, but went with one of the specials that evening, which was a fish with risotto (7). Jeannie had the fish as well, while Dru had the duck (8) and I ordered short ribs. I'm not going to bore you with how awesome these dishes were because it belittles the quality. Suffice to say it was most excellent.






We did, however, have one hiccup in the evening that speaks further to the quality of this place.  When I ordered the "short ribs" the server mistakenly heard me say "sweet breads."  I'm sure they were excellent but I wouldn't know because one bite told me I had the wrong part of the pig on my plate.  The error was immediately corrected without question, and it wasn't until we returned home that we realized that our server comped our second bottle of wine for what was an honest mistake.  Here's where L'Antibes stands apart from the crowd: am I surprised that he unnecessarily comped a bottle of wine? No. But he never mentioned it, which to me is a super-classy thing to do.  







Well done, L'Antibes.  Looking forward to seeing you again as soon as this tour is over. (Editor's note: if you're keeping track at home, this is the third time Aaron has expressed his desire to go back to one of our stops.)





7 comments:

  1. I'll take the foie gras, avocado salad, and short ribs right now, at 9 a.m.

    Super classy of him to comp the wine without mentioning it.

    YAY AARON!

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  2. Good job, Aaron! Also, that might be one of my favorite photos of you two ever. <3

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  3. I will take Airown's sweetbreads off his hands.

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  4. Aaron did awesome! and now I'm hungry!

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  5. Aaron needs to start his own foodie blog! That all looks delicious. I love good food. And I looooove that photo of the two of you!

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