|Written by Sheri Elfman on July 11 2012|
I have a confession. I am a complete Francophile. If it’s French, I love it, therefore when I was asked to review Bouillabaisse French Bistro on Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale; my answer was an enthusiastic ‘Oui!’
I took my friend Anthony along with me because he has that certain je nais se quoi and I know we’d have a lovely evening.
We were greeted at the door by the maitre d’ Rudy who showed us to our table in the intimate, elegant restaurant. The lighting at Bouillabaisse was dim and lit by candlelight and each table featured a single rose. It’s the perfect place to go on a romantic date. Unfortunately for Anthony, our evening was going to be a platonic one, as I am a taken woman, but at least he got to dine in style!
Our evening began with a bottle of Beau-Rivage Bordeaux, crudités and fresh rolls. As we sipped and nibbled away, we were brought our appetizers – Escargot with mushroom, garlic butter, fresh herbs, lemon, white wine and tomato ($10) and a bowl of Cognac flavored Lobster Bisque ($10).
The escargot I’ve had in the past was usually oozing with butter, but at Bouillabaisse, their escargot was lighter and fresher tasting. The Lobster Bisque was creamy, silky and featured a good amount of tender lobster. I could eat it every day and never get sick of it. It was exquisite.
Next, we tried the Bellevue Salad ($10), which had hearts of palm, hearts of artichoke, red onions, and parmesan, tossed with tomato vinaigrette. The flavors melded perfectly in the unique salad, but the hearts of palm was the star. It was a light and refreshing dish. Speaking of refreshing, we were served a fantastically tart lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate next and were then ready for the main courses.
I was served the Bouillabaisse “Marceille” ($31) which was a large bowl of fresh fish, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster, fennel, saffron and rouille. This was served with garlic butter and crusty bread for dipping. This is a dream dish for any seafood aficionado and it was surprisingly very light.
Anthony had the Beef Wellington ($36), which was a filet wrapped in liver pate, mushroom duxelle and puff pastry. This is the kind of dish that you take a bite of, look up and just smile (which is what Anthony and I did when we tried it). Then, of course, we both started babbling at once about how amazing it was. It’s basically a rule that anything wrapped in puff pastry is to die for. Think about it. And the combination of flavors and the tender, perfectly cooked filet – it just melts in your mouth. This is a dish that you will be thinking about for days to come.
Everything was so delicious -- we couldn’t wait to try dessert! We shared Chocolate Mousse with cointreau flavored orange foam and fresh berries ($9) and French Vanilla Crème Brulee with fresh berries ($11). The Chocolate Mousse was served in a martini glass and was dense and creamy and everything you’d want in a chocolate mousse. The orange flavor added a pleasant, citrusy kick to the dessert. The French Vanilla Crème Brulee was light and sweet under the amazing top layer of sugary goodness. I will definitely be back for more.
Bouillabaisse French Bistro is the kind of hidden gem that you almost want to keep to yourself – it’s that special. The perfect place for special occasions, this is where you want to go to to impress a date.