Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chez Pierre Restaurant

In my last blog I talked about being impressed by a restaurant that has been open for over 30 years, but the results of the meal were not hot. Yesterday though, I went to a restaurant in Ganesvorrt, NY just outside of Saratoga Springs that has been open for 44 years and I had one a meal that showed the positive side of 44 years of experience.

Chez Pierre is a classical French restaurant that certainly makes no apoligies for being old-school French. The dishes remind one of French cuisine promoted in Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire. If you want to remember the haute cuisine that I love, you must go here.

Located off of route 9 in Ganesvoort, NY Chez Pierre is an easy restaurant to get to. For some it may be too far out of Saratoga, but on the Friday night I went in, it was obvious that the location was not an issue to many as after 7 pm the place was packed. The restaurant is located in a cute mid-size building with a small Eiffel tower outside to let the diners know where to stop when driving by.

The dining room was quaint, nothing ultra modern, kinda plain maybe a little dated but perhaps some might say the cuisine is as well but I also love that about this place. It screams "local French bistro." Make sure you watch out for the floor when you walk in, there are multiple levels that could trip you up as it did to me.

The dining room was covered in white linen with pink cloth napkins and antique -type etched crystal water glasses. The bar seemed very classic French, one might think that Van Gogh was going to come sit next to you with a bottle of Absinthe. Sadly, the bar did not have any Pastis, which is the modern legal version of Absinthe, just without the wormwood.

As mentioned, the menu is very old-school French. Escargots with garlic and herbs, Beef Wellington, Veal Oscar, Tournados Henri IV, Chateaubriand, Steak Diane, Frogs Legs Provencal, Couquille Saint Jacques, Supreme De Poulet "Valdostana", Paupiette de Veau, Filet of Sole Marguery, and I could continue with dishes that excited me.

With our bread was delivered a nice slice of Pate Grand Mere. A nice pork terrine with liver added to it. It had a good texture to it and a wonderful flavor. The bread seemed a bit "white breadish, not very classical baguette in my opinion. The accompaniment of packaged crackers detracted from the quality of the bread course to me as well.

It was really hard for me to choose what to order. I wanted frog's legs and escargot, but my dining companion didn't want either, so I we got the Couquille Saint Jacques and the escargot, both were by-God amazing. The escargot came in these small ceramic mock snail shells and the Couquille was served in an actual scallop shell with some beautiful swiss cheese browned on top.

For entree, I went with the Paupiette de Veau, (veal pounded out thin and rolled with cheese and ham). Cooked perfectly and served with a beautiful sauce. A bit heavy for a summer night, as were most items on the menu, but one does not goto this restaurant to eat seasonally, you dine here to eat the food of La Varenne, Antoine Careme and Escoffier. The sides were orange glazed carrots which were perfectly cooked until soft and Potato Dauphinoise. Both sides were very flavorful.

If that was not enough, I had to go for dessert, I usually don't go for the basic desserts like chocolate mousse, but if there was a place to get mousse, this was it, it was phenomenal, like airy and rich with chocolate and lacking in graininess. My espresso was served in a percolator, it was disappointing, cold and as such lacking in flavor. The Grand Marnier at the end of the meal made up for the espresso though.

Our server was great, it was obvious she had been working there for some years and knew her stuff. The service was a bit slow at times in the meal as the room was packed and they were a little understaffed, but the timing didn't make me uncomfortable, she preformed well for the issues dealt to her.

If there was to be a restaurant in the area I live in now that I had a standing order for a weekly dining reservation, this would be the place. It made me feel like I was at a local French restaurant that I should know everyone's name as well as their family member's names. I may not be back weekly, but I will certainly be a regular.

Website -

Hours -
Serving Dinner Tuesday - Friday, 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Saturday, 5:00pm - 10:00pm
and Sunday 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Racing Season Schedule - 7 Days, 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Chez Pierre Restaurant
979 Route 9
Gansevoort NY, 12831
(518) 793-3350 or (800) 672-0666

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