For many months, Cheri and I walked by this strip of restaurants and couldn't help but notice the older gentleman with the furry puff hat at the front inviting us in, in all kinds of weather. We have meant to accept his invitation for some time now.
After walking in through the corridor and not climbing the stairs to Marcelo's, we were met by a heavy curtain, behind which was the warm, yellow Le Saint Tropez dining room. It was quite lively for a chilly Wednesday night.
We read their daily menu board, like in a true French bistro. Apart from the listed specials they also had an appetizer and dinner prix-fixe menu as well as an a la carte menue.
As we settled in, we noticed small art nouveau elements around us - hangers, lamps, details. There was also a very inconspicuous live music - a lady playing the piano and softly singing. It added to the warmth.
They had an elaborate wine list, but the best part is that they had different recommendations by the glass (also offered as 1/2L). We decided to trust their choices and got 1/2L of the Saint Tropez recommended Merlot from Languedoc as well as a glass of the Chef's recommended Pinot Noir from Pays d'Oc. The first is what we'd recommend as being more unique and flavourful, as the Pinot did not live up to our expectations.
We snacked on some baguette with butter as we waited. First to arrive was the Terrine de Maison. Two thick slices of their chunky house made pate. The dish came with some veggies, mini pickles and herbed crostini. We also got their daily soup - Chicken & Barley. It was also quite a significant amount of food - smooth with chunks of chicken, carrot and onion.
One of the main dishes we enjoyed was Penne au Saumon Fume, sauce rose. A filling meal with plenty of salmon, in tomato onion cream sauce, slightly on the salty side. I should note, I had a taste of their Medallion de Porc (Demi glacé aux pomme), it was another amazing option.
As part of their daily special, we also had their Smoked Duck. The 5 thin slices were full of flavour, beautifully balanced with blueberry compote, picketed chanterelles, chives and a radish salad. Artistically presented, for its petite size.
We savoured our dishes in the light piano music ambiance. It was beyond what we expected. Le Saint Tropez was able to take us back to France indeed.
We couldn't resist their desserts. We shared the creation du chef - a dark chocolate mousse cake with raspberries and a thin merengue bottom layer. Smooth and slightly sweet, we had a some Merlot to finish off. We are big fans of dark chocolate with a medium-bodied red wine.
We'll be back!