Out To Lunch: Retaining That French Flair In Courthouse Lane

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Chez Christophe,

Courthouse Lane

Chez ChristopheI HAD been to Chez Christophe before and,  despite only staying for a very fine coffee, I promised to return.

That was over a year ago.

It was quiet then as it was only open a few weeks so that was to be expected, especially since it’s off the beaten track across the way from Polymath Bookshop.

The scene was different when I arrived at the bistro this week.

The substantial number of customers was a mix of young families, couples and office workers looking for a continental oasis from the busy streets down the lane.

The interior has the definite air of a French cafe/restaurant with Gallic tunes coming from the sound system, tables at the back set with wine glasses with maroon and white wall-covering paper giving the place an informal sophistication.

If the place was a French expression it would be a slight shrug of the shoulders, a raised eyebrow and a slight exhalation through the lips – “oui, je suis cool”.

That’s all very well once it’s not all surface and no feeling, but Christophe, on the evidence of my visit, excels at what he does.

The menu is simple; soup of the day, quiche, three specials of the day (€9.50),  a cheese plate, salad plate, cold meat plate, goat’s cheese risotto, fish cake, lamb burrito, fish cake, smoked salmon salad and French omelette. And that’s it.

The specials were home-made burger, loin of bacon and, my choice, chicken supreme with bacon and mushroom sauce.

It arrived within minutes from the smiling waitress and it looked as good as the surroundings.

The chicken breast was moist in a light sauce, while the mushrooms and little pieces of bacon were delicious. It was served with boiled white rice and a salad of tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot and egg.

The whole dish was excellent and the cappuccino that followed emulated it.

For €12, it was up there with the best since starting the column.


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