Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chez Francois

Check out this amazing sunset.  I took this picture in Ohio after a fabulous dinner at Chez Francois.  For those of you who are not familiar with Chez Francois, it's a very nice little restaurant tucked away in the tiny town of Vermillion, Ohio.  This elegant restaurant features both indoor and outdoor seating.  Thanks to a surprising warm spell in the middle of May, we were able to sit outside at one of the tables along one of the beautiful Lake Erie canals.  In the warm spring evening air, we watched the boats slowly floated by as we enjoyed our meal.

As we took in the scenery, we sipped on some delicious wine while our waiter served our first course - a gazpacho with avocado foam.

It was so good that it inspired my mom and I to make our own version of gazpacho that same weekend.  We never did figure out the secret to the avocado foam but our version was mighty tasty even without it. 

 For appetizers, we shared some tuna tar tar and a lobster ravioli.  In a word - yum.

I think I probably could have made a meal out of gazpacho and lobster ravioli but if I had, I would have missed out on the rest of this fabulous meal.

I ordered my spinach salad - sans egg and bacon so I took a picture of my salad (the smaller picture on the left) and the house salad as it was meant to be served. 

For a main course, my mom and I ordered one of the evening's specials - hog snapper fish.  It was dredged in almond flour and served with golden delicious apples, roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes.  It was fabulous.  I wasn't able to finish it all because I had eaten so much before my dinner ever arrived but it was just as good the next day for lunch.  (A sign of a really well prepared fish.)

My brother and my dad ordered the other special of the night which was a veal chop special with herbed risotto. I didn't try the veal but it got rave reviews from the men at the table. 

Feeling completely full and satisfied after all of this spectacular food, I chose to order a decaf coffee in lieu of dessert.  Just after my steaming cup of coffee arrived, the waiter brought over a complimentary dessert in honor of my birthday.  How could I possibly pass up warm chocolate cake and cool vanilla ice cream?  It was just as incredible as it looked. There were lots of mmmms and ahhhhs as I savored each bite of this decadent dessert.

My mom and my dad also got birthday desserts since we were celebrating their birthdays as well.  They each had a cherries and ice cream dessert - another special for the evening.  We all enjoyed a splash of port to finish off our meal as well.

The waitress was kind enough to snap a quick photo of my parents and my brother just after finishing our dinner.

Feeling somewhat uncomfortably full, we left the restaurant and spent some time wandering through the streets of Vermillion listening the street musicians that were participating in the "Third Thursday" concert series.   The music from dozens of bands filled the night air as we walked down to the lake.  As if we had timed it perfectly, the sun had just begun to set when we approached the edge of the lake. 

I give Chez Francois my highest recommendation.  They have spectacular food and the atmosphere is relaxing and peaceful.  It is a fabulous way to spend an evening (and celebrate a birthday).  If you are near Vermillion, Ohio you need to check out this little gem of a restaurant.


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