Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Love is There at Le Saint Amour

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

If you're going to name your restaurant, Le Saint Amour, which when translated through Google Translate means "holy love", that's a lot to live up to. Given that, I have to say that I did enjoy the media dinner set up by Daniela Galarza of Bread and Butter PR on behalf of Owners, Chef Bruno Herve-Commereuc and his wife, Florence.

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Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Though this was my first time at Le Saint Amour, I actually did dine once at Angelique Cafe when it was previously owned by the couple and really enjoyed the food and my dining experience.  With such a positive memory, I was looking forward to my meal.

Arriving a little late, everything was in full swing, but they did manage to serve me one Kumamoto Oyster with Champagne Mignonette before they brought out the first course.  Apparently, Le Saint Amour works with a seafood sommelier whose specialty is with oysters and he personally selected the oysters that we had that evening.  It was a nice oceany-briny-fresh way to begin the meal.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Soon the Charcuterie Plate came which had Country Pate, Duck Rilette, Galantine avec Pistachio, Toulouse Pork Sausage and Moroccan Merguez. Chef Bruno did come out to talk a little bit about the charcuterie which he makes in-house, but it was a little too noisy to hear him. Regardless, I enjoyed sampling the different ones that were presented to us with my favorite ones being the Galantine avec Pistachio and the Duck Rilette.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

The next dish to arrive at our table were the Escargots en Croute.  How could you say no to snails baked in garlic and parsley butter? I certainly couldn't.  The pastry itself was flaky and buttery and breaking into the crust to get at the garlicky and buttery snails put a smile on my face.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

After enjoying our escargots, we were served Moules Marinières, which are mussels cooked with white wine and shallots, accompanied by crispy French fries. The mussels were prepared just right, but what did it for me was the broth. I happily either sopped bread or dipped the fries in it.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour
Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Following the mussels came the Merguez, a baby carrot salad with couscous and a Moroccan lamb sausage. I liked that salad wasn't over-dressed and the peppery arugula was a nice complement to the sausage which had a little kick to it. The couscous also added a tasty, starchy texture to the dish.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Speaking of sausage, we had a quite a few of those in the Choucroute Saint Amour which had lyonnais sausage, toulouse sausage, boudin noir and braised cabbage. Boudin noir, if you didn't know, is blood sausage and not my cup of tea, but I did enjoy partaking of the other two and even more so, when eaten with the sour cabbage.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Also on the menu was their Loup de Mer, a sauteed seabass with artichokes, baby Savoy spinach, lemon, caper and brown butter. I only had a small taste, but other than wanting a crispier fish skin, I liked the combination of the tart, piquant and buttery flavors of the sauce.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

The last savory dish to arrive was the Boeuf Bourguignon which were red wine braised beef cheeks, carrots, and gnocchi. This was my favorite dish of the night. The beef was meltingly tender and it's a comfort food that I'd want to have even if I didn't need comforting.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of it, but you can see what it looks like here.

Our meal ended with two desserts.  First was the Fondant au Chocolat with a warm chocolate cake, banana ice cream and caramel sauce. My last two chocolate cake desserts at other restaurants weren't anything to write home about, so I was happy to finally get this moist chocolate cake which went well with the salted caramel sauce and banana ice cream.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Although I did enjoy the Fondant au Chocolat, my heart definitely belonged to the Mousse au Citron which was a blood orange granita with tangerine ice cream and lemon mousse.  With a meal that was meat and butter-intensive, this dessert was refreshing on my palate and the icy tartness was much appreciated.

Media Dinner at Le Saint Amour

Overall, this was a lovely meal and when Chef Herve and Florence talked about their restaurant and food, their love for what they do was very evident.  I've always found that good food always start with love and that's very much evident at Le Saint Amour.

Le Saint Amour
9725 culver bld
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 842-8155
Le Saint Amour on Urbanspoon



weezermonkey said...

I've always loved Angelique Cafe! I didn't know they opened this place!

One More Bite said...

The charcuterie plate and escargots en croute = love at first sight for me! Great post, adding this to my list of places to try!

pleasurepalate said...

WM: It's definitely a more upscale feel than Angelique Cafe. Moving on up....

OMB: Be sure to get that blood orange dessert. It was just awesome. :)

ChowNoir said...

You don't like the boudin noir? Wouldn't it be similar to diniguan? My wife likes that sausage dish, great during the winter, very warm and comforting. She also loves diniguan and she's not even Filipino.

Darin said...

That's a lot of food! I've been hearing about this place for a while now and haven't had a chance to drop by yet.

KrisDub said...

I went to Le Saint Amour over a year ago now and LOVED it! I need to go back. Back then, I had their boeuf tartare and it was amazing. I really also love the atmosphere. Nice post!

pleasurepalate said...

ChowNoir: I don't even eat dinuguan, so blood sausage wouldn't be for me either. :)

Darin: Definitely check this place out. I want to go back to check out their Fried Chicken Sundays.

KrisDub: I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Hope you make it back to Le Saint Amour soon. :)

stuffycheaks said...

I just dined there a few weeks ago. It was wonderful. The sweetbreads really took the cake

Will Owen said...

We had lunch there maybe a year ago, and I keep trying to find a good excuse to get back. M. Commereuc made the first duck confit I ever had, at Angelique, and I must say he's gotten even better at it here! Two big legs on a bed of those brilliant frites = paradise.

Saint Amour is one of the cru Beaujolais, the heartiest and strongest of those. It would go wonderfully with this food!

pleasurepalate said...

stuffycheaks: I'll definitely have to make a return trip there one day. :)

Will: I hope this post gives you an excuse to pay a return visit. :)