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Spotlight: Restaurant Row Goes French

Bistro Le Coq Au Vin Dr. Phillips. Photo: Scott Joseph
Bistro Le Coq Au Vin Dr. Phillips. Photo: Scott Joseph

Well, isn’t Restaurant Row getting all Frenchy?

I recently told you about Urbain 40, a newcomer to the Dellagio Plaza. Now here’s a version of a local favorite with a name that is really a bouche full: (deep breath) Bistro Le Coq Au Vin Dr. Phillips.

Chef and owner Reimund Pitz took over the space in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips that had been briefly occupied by Bistro CloClo. It’s not a replica of the popular South of Downtown Le Coq Au Vin. Whereas the main restaurant is more of a full restaurant experience, the new place is bistro-ier, hence the name.

Plus, the new location allows for something Le Coq Au Vin can’t: a terrace with traditional Parisian cafe seating. (Though you’ll never confuse the Marketplace parking lot with Boulevard St. Germain.)

I met a friend at the bistro for lunch recently and had some of my Paris mainstays. I started with the French Onion Soup, or as it is called in France, Onion Soup. It was loaded with lots of chewy onion strips and topped with just the right amount of goldeny melted cheese.

My Croque Madame, the inside out ham and cheese sandwich known first as a Croque Monsieur but feminized by the addition a beautifully fried egg, was crispy and gooey at the same time. Note for croque madame novices: always eat this one with a knife and fork, not your hands. The sandwich was served with a small fryer basket of crisped fries.

My companion had a stylized version of a Salade Nicoise, with a nicely grilled tuna fillet resting on greens and accompanied by roasted potatoes, green beans, hard boiled egg wedges and grape tomatoes.

Pitz is still tweaking the menu but plans to offer some of Le Coq’s favorite dishes, and to offer them in half portions as he does downtown. Bistro Le Coq Au Vin Dr. Phillips is a pleasant addition to Restaurant Row.