Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rate-A-Restaurant #304: Church & State

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Restaurant: Church & State

Location: 1850 Industrial St., #100 (Downtown)

Type of restaurant: French


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We stipulated: For our anniversary, Maria and I had tickets to see Invisible Cities at Union Station. But the show didn't start until 9:30 -- so we had plenty of time for dinner. I've been wanting to try Church & State for years, and this seemed like the time to splurge. The restaurant only had an opening at 6:30, and only on the patio, but the timing worked out.

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They stipulated: "The cuisine is traditional French Bistro fare, created using only seasonal produce of the highest quality, and products from 100% humanely raised, treated, and naturally fed animals: 100% grass-fed, pasture raised beef and lamb, cage-free poultry, sustainable seafood."

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What we ordered: Moules Marinieres (p.e.i. mussels, fennel, shallots, cream, french fries, aioli; $19); Os a Moelle (roasted marrow bone, marinated radish salad; $15); Tarte aux Courge (butternut squash, brie, arugula, fried sage; $19); Poulet Roti (roasted organic 1/2 chicken, fall root vegetables, cipollini onions, brussels sprouts, rosemary jus; $26).

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High point:  Maria loved the bone marrow, but that's not my thing. I enjoyed the mussels, perhaps because I scarfed the fries. The tarte was rich but nice, while the chicken was fine.

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Low point: As we sat outdoors, a man came up to us and from the street and I gave him some food from our table after he asked; but then wouldn't leave us. It made for an unfortunate several minutes; later, the server let us know this was a fairly common occurrence at the restaurant. But no acknowledgement from management, and we didn't say anything. Still, it cast a pall over the dinner.

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Overall impression: Nice space and accessible menu for folks like me that normally aren't into French cuisine. We probaby ordered a bit too much; perhaps one less item (two appetizers and one main course, perhaps.) The desserts look great, but we didn't order any.

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Will we return: Possibly, Church & State is a splurge that you don't get to do too often. I also have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for how they handled our situation.

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