Restaurant Review: Chez du Bon
Chez du Bon is a scene-stealer. Smack dab in the middle of downtown, it boasts the signature, over-the-top design style found in all its family restaurants (Manifesto and de-NOVO come to mind). Houndstooth? Velvet? Glittery gold swirly things? More please, and mix them all together.
The front of the house is a formal restaurant. It’s shockingly dark and cozy, even on the brightest days outside.
Meanwhile, the back of the house is a little hidden market area. It’s like a teeny cozy cave stocked with fresh cut deli meat, a bakery, a fridge of Snowville products and a bar in the middle that merges into a more casual bakery café area.
And the food at Chez du Bon? It’s all that. Even this confirmed non-francophile finds it charming.
Given that the place has a French theme, there are lots of frenchy things on the menu in the fancy restaurant part. Case in point: Salad Lyonnaise ($8). It’s got greens and veggies and lardon (bacon) and a new favorite thing for salads: a poached egg.
Then there is Quiche ($9). Quiche, generally is always okay, and it was ordered on a whim. Having had more than a few quiches in this lifetime, it’s worth noting that Chez du Bon’s version is unprecedented in it silky smoothness. Who knew eggs could even melt like that? You have to pause after every bite, just to appreciate the texture teamed with a briny, smoky flavor. There’s a nice crust, and some chunks of bacon, but really, it’s all about the wonder of eggs.
As a retrospective bonus, the quiche has been the subject of lots of online drama courtesy a menu typo that suggests an option of steak and quiche together for a bargain price. It’s not an option, and during ordering, there was a table conversation with the server about the meaning of that odd clause. No false expectations here. Typos happen to everyone, it’s how they’re handled that makes a great deal of difference.
Steak Au Poivre is on the menu too. At $20, it’s a fantastic price for a pretty good portion. It’s got a nice little sauce, and the meat itself is shockingly good quality –steakhouse tender and flavorful. The French must know something special about steak. It’s served with (what else?) thick cut french fries (“pommes frites”).
You can sneak into the back marketplace after the meal (or before or during the meal, for that matter). There’s a chance to eat even more food from the cafe back there: crepes, salads, sandwiches. A Chocolate Croissant ($4.50) from the bakery made a terrific dessert. Flaky and light and filled with chips of high quality chocolate -not that fakey paste stuff. The little chocolate nubs serve up an intense charge in the bites of feathery pastry.
You can find Chez du Bon at 122 S. High Street, smack dab in the middle of lots of downtown construction. It’s open Mondays through Fridays from 7am until 10pm. Saturdays from 9am until 10pm and Sundays from 9am until 9pm.
More information can be found online at www.chezdubon.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.