Frenchy’s Bistro: A Tasting Menu That Should Be Tasted
2010-02-19 · By Chandra Clewley
Frenchy’s Bistro on Anaheim, has been open since 1996. Being still new to the area, I Googled “French food in Long Beach” because I am such a fan of this type of food! I decided to try Frenchy’s Bistro for Valentine’s Day.
The restaurant is not in an assuming part of Long Beach, and had I not the intent of eating there, I would probably not have found it.
When we entered the Bistro itself, I was surprised that it was so quiet, as we had made reservations. In the entrance room were several tables set up with Murano glass jewelry that was for sale and a few tables. We were escorted into the second room, which holds the bar and most of the tables. The set up was tasteful, with artwork on the walls. The most alluring and fun element of the room was the bar itself as well as the art that hangs above it.
I had just been to the Los Angeles tasting of the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (the big Burgundy tasting that travels to our area annually) two days before at The Beverly Hills Hotel, so I was excited to order a bottle of Burgundy. We ordered the 2000 Cotes de Nuits Village Anne-Marie Gilles and were very happy with the bottle. I thought it tasted a bit peppery, with a really round cherry finish. The wine was reasonable at $35 for the bottle. We were also given delicious bread and a basil and anchovy paste to dip that was fragrant, bold and just simply, very tasty.
We were offered the prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu ($75 each) which consisted of: Homemade cured Gravlaks topped with organic greens in an orange and cilantro dressing. There was a ton of salmon on the salad and the dressing was strong on the citrus. The soup was carrot and ginger with garlic croutons and was served in a fun asymmetrical china bowl. The soup itself was solid but nothing spectacular. The main course was Beef Filet Medallions with Truffle Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes and Vegetables. The steak was cooked medium rare, and tender, although I never tasted anything even hinting toward truffle? The potatoes were well seasoned and solid. For dessert we were given chocolate cannele of Bordeaux with a raspberry center and chocolate gelato. The dessert was rich and we both liked it.
The service at Frenchy’s was excellent and impeccable. As a patron, you can tell there is a pride in ownership that the proprietors carry. I would have liked to have an option to order from the regular menu and try the escargot or the rack of lamb that looks wonderful, and given the choice, I probably would not have ordered the filet mignon. Perhaps next year, Frenchy’s will consider adding an additional main course for the non-boeuf friendly. Either way, the wine list was pleasant, their full menu looked great and I especially liked the Tasting Menu that they offer in the bar area. I will definitely return to this Long Beach French restaurant to give it another shot with the full menu and tasting option. Frenchy’s also has live entertainment on occasion, which I think would be delightful.
All in all, it is difficult to review the restaurant based on the prix fixe menu. Someone like Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Bouchon) uses an ever-changing prix fixe menu to highlight and delight the senses and to introduce you to something you would not try normally. As a matter of fact, prix fixe seems to be the path that American fine dining is traveling down, so I would think that the Tasting Menu at Frenchy’s Bistro is most likely aimed at this new type of eating. On the other hand, before the foodie nation, prixe fixe was generally just a chef’s hesitancy to cook more than one thing on a busy night such as a holiday like Valentine’s Day.
For my part, the jury is still out on what my opinion of the food is. I just wasn’t able to try enough. It would have been much more of a delight to try a little bit of this and a little bit of that at this Long Beach French restaurant. The food that I did try was good and hearty and I look forward to ordering much more next time!
Frenchy’s Bistro is located at 4137 East Anaheim St. Long Beach, CA 90804. Call for more details: (562)494-8787