Left Bank Brasserie for Authentic French Fare

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We have heard about Left Bank Brasserie restaurants for awhile now but haven’t had a chance to experience their deliciousness until we were invited in to review the Menlo Park venue earlier this month. My only regret was not getting an opportunity to taste their incredible French onion soup so I’m adding it to the list for a future time.

Left Bank Brasserie

If you’re not familiar with the symbolism of the Left Bank, La Rive Gauche (The Left Bank) is the southern bank of the famous River Seine in Paris.

“Rive Gauche” or “Left Bank” generally refers to the Paris of an earlier era: the Paris of artists, writers and philosophers. The phrase implies a sense of bohemianism, counterculture and creativity that existed at one time and there are still many brasseries in Paris which reflect this artsy creative time.

Below, you can see how Left Bank Brasserie tries to weave in the flavor of that era through its decor and ambiance throughout.

Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

Above two photo credits: Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie Menlo Park

As you’d expect from a French styled brasserie, they had authentic Hors D’Oeuvres, including Shrimp Provencale with Nicoise olives, basil, capers and Pernot garlic butter as well as Calamari, a Tarte Lyonnaise, which we would have tried if we weren’t trying to lay low on carbs and a delicious Cheese Fondue which they do with melted brie, blue and goat cheese and a Madeira wine. We have a fondue at home and can never seem to get it quite right.

They have the classic two salads you’d expect as well — Endive and Nicoise, however I was dying to try the Salad de Betterave au Raifort, aka, a roasted heirloom beet salad with spicy horseradish creme fraiche dressing.

They gave us a sherry dressing instead because of my dislike for horseradish, however I’d recommend getting it the way the chef prepares it if you’re a horseradish lover.

Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

Apparently known for their cocktails as much as their wine list of French offerings, worth noting is a drink they call Rue Cler, which is made with lime juice, peach vodka, basil and apple juice. Sounds sweet right? Not a chance – it was so perfectly balanced that we could have drank them all night long.

Left Bank Brasserie

My favorite of all the dishes we sampled has to go to their classic Escargots, which is made with the ever so rich Pernod garlic butter. They serve it with a buttered toast and like all French restaurants, there’s a big basket of bread on the table for dipping. It was perfect with the white Sancerre they paired with it.

Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

I stayed with white through my main course, which was their pan roasted Loch Duart salmon, which they served with roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts petals and a vanilla saffron beurre blanc.

Left Bank Brasserie

They had us sample their George Duboeuf Beaujolais flight  with the Boeuf Bourguignon they wanted us to try, which the chef prepares with braised beef cheeks, bacon lardons (yum), baby carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions. Rich but divine!

On the Beaujolais flight was the Moulin-a-Vent Domaine de Rosiers, the Saint-Amour Chateau de Saint-Amour and the Julienas Chateau des Capitans, which was a tad light for a rich beef dish, but delicious nevertheless. Think raspberries, cinnamon, cherries and black currants.

Left Bank Brasserie

Boeuf Bourguignon at Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

Ready for dessert yet? We were pretty full at this juncture, but they encouraged us to try the Chocolate Fondue, which is also beautiful to look at — I’d recommend this as the perfect dessert to share if heading here as a group of four or more. Even better was their Pumpkin Cheesecake although they also offer a Creme Brulee, Profiteroles and a delicious Cafe Liegeois as well.

Left Bank Brasserie  Left Bank Brasserie      Left Bank Brasserie fondue

Left Bank Brasserie

We loved the ambiance and given the time of year, they had pumpkins and other fall decor scattered throughout, which only added to the warmth of the restaurant.

Left Bank Brasserie

Left Bank Brasserie

In addition to Menlo Park, Left Bank Brasserie also has restaurants in Larkspur and San Jose. For more information, visit their website which also has their dining and wine menus.

DETAILS:

Left Bank Brasserie

635 Santa Cruz Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025

http://www.leftbank.com/

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Note: we were hosted by the restaurant but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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