Tonight was the first time the Beacon Dining Group went to a French restaurant, and almost everyone was impressed by the restaurant, its food, and its service.
When I was growing up, French restaurants were always in the "High Class" category, with prices to match. Then I realized that to the French, common people eat common food like us, and that our common phrases for food (grub, vittles, eats) could apply to their food save for one thing - they treat dining as an experience to be savored, and not something to be rushed through.
French cuisine can often be more complex than other cuisines. For example, there's no way that the French would serve "Bangers and Mash" the way the British do. The French take their food seriously, and it shows in the care given to even the simplest of dishes. Yet, I enjoy making lots of jokes at the French culture's expense. I will mention that the difference between French and Italian snails is the price. French restaurants label them "Escargot" and charge more money for them. But once you've had "French Snails", one doesn't go back to the Italian kind....
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I didn't have much to do when I woke up this morning, so I stayed in bed and watched another episode of Perry Mason before making breakfast. Of course, I killed the better part of the afternoon taking it easy and reading. Yet, I started to take out my Summer dresses and put my heavy Winter dresses in the laundry basket to be cleaned before being put into storage for the next 5 months or so.
Considering that I hadn't worn this jacket and dress in a while, I decided to pull it out of my closet and wear it to tonight's dinner. I figured that I wanted to look nice (dare I say, pretty?) when eating at a nice restaurant. While getting dressed, WDJ called to tell me that she wouldn't be meeting me tonight to share a ride to Poughkeepsie. There was nothing on the menu that she was interested in, and the prices on the menu made her think twice about going to this week's meetup. (French restaurants are usually very expensive, so I can't blame her for watching her pennies.) Lili also decided not to go to dinner tonight, as she has visited the doctor today, and her arms were still hurting her from the removal of the drainage tubes. So I ended up driving to Poughkeepsie alone, and having dinner in a neighborhood where the sidewalks roll up at 5 pm.
Arriving at Brasserie 292, I was able to find street parking across the street from the restaurant. The area was empty, and I would have been nervous going there had I not a clear view of the restaurant from my car and that other people were entering the restaurant when I did. When I entered the place, I saw the meetup group in the side room behind the bar. It was cozy, comfortable, and quiet enough to have a conversation without having to shout over the surrounding noise. Although the service was a little slow, I'd expect this for a Tuesday night in Poughkeepsie - one doesn't add an extra staff member on the floor or in the kitchen just for a meetup group of 16 people. Yet, I had no complaints about the food - only praises. The Prix Fixe dinner available on Tuesday nights was perfect. I started with Mussels, had a nice piece of salmon for a main course, and finished with the French version of Chocolate Pudding, Pots de Crème. YUM!
Would I go to this restaurant again? Yes. But I'd rather go to the French restaurant I went to with Vicki during restaurant week - only because it is closer and has a slightly more cozy atmosphere. However, I am more likely to go to this restaurant for lunch, as one of the ladies from the meetup and I exchanged phone numbers and will get together for lunch one day soon....