No need to take a jet plane, France is here — and it’s soooo good.
You’ve passed it on your way to Port Angeles, just before the Morse Creek “dip.” Every time I see it, Eartha Kitt’s haunting voice sings, “C’est si bon, lovers say that in France, when they thrill to romance, it means that it’s so good.”
Although Ms. Kitt sang about l’amour, she could have been singing about la cuisine at C’est Si Bon restaurant.
From the moment you park your car there are sights to delight the eye!
The gargoyle downspouts prepare you for a transcontinental flight to another culture; the claw of a dragon holds a sconce to light your way as you cross the threshold.
Once you step through those doors, you will be enveloped in a stunning French tableau.
It could be said that C’est Si Bon invokes the fantasy of a movie set — which makes perfect sense.
Thirty years ago, Michéle and Norbert Juhasz left behind the movie stars on the shores of Malibu to bring some of Tinsel Town with them to our peninsula. The couple’s ties to Hollywood were forged when Michéle was a chef for movie stars and Norbert played his violin for movie icons such as Janet Leigh and lent his talents to movie scores.
It’s always a celebration at C’est Si Bon, with colored lights and the glitter of things bright and shiny.
The main dining room is airy. A display of violins lines the walls, prompting a plan for the future: an evening of food accompanied by the sounds of Norbert’s violin.
When we first settled here, Greg and I thought C’est Si Bon would be just the place for an intimate rendezvous — and we were so right. The place whispers romance. (Even though that was several years ago, I still remember the sinful escargot.)
Spending some time at the cocktail lounge will allow you to get acquainted with the liqueurs and after-dinner drinks while you drink in the eye-popping decor.
But tonight, our party of 20 dined in the banquet room, surrounded by deep burgundy walls, a crystal chandelier, a cornucopia of silk flowers and a towering canvas of Napoleon atop his steed.
Tonight’s special gathering of friends required a prix fixe menu ($32). First on our table was the French bread and butter; one can make a meal on that alone. Next came a lovely light
butter lettuce salad with beets.
We each had a choice of three entrées: halibut, filet mignon or chicken Wellington. And each entrée came with broccoli and pommes de terre au gratin (potato slices layered with cheese).
My filet was lightly accented with a brown sauce topped with shredded crab and so tender.
I didn’t get a chance to taste the Wellington (I was in talk mode!), but the halibut, also topped with crab, melted in your mouth — as Ms. Streisand would say — “like buttah.”
C’est Si Bon’s regular menu should fulfill the desires of those who hunger for traditional French cuisine.
Hors d’oeuvres include classic French onion soup (L’Oignon Gratinée Au Champagne, $9.25); Fruits De Mer Au Gratin (scallops, crab and shrimp, $13.95);
herbs I remember so well ($10.25).
For dinner, there are more than a dozen choices, including poached chicken breast, beef and lamb tenderloin, and roast duck.
Some noteworthy dishes: Coquille Saint Jacques a la Nage (scallops flambées with cognac, $32.95); the Dungeness Crab Soufflé ($34.95); the exotic Cailles Farcie (two quails with mushrooms, veal, pork and chicken stuffing, $32.25); Poule Naine Forrestierre (Cornish game hen with mushroom stuffing, $31.25); or Magret de Canard Aux Airelles (duck breast with berry sauce, $32.50).
At our gathering, our chocolate mousse dessert topped with fresh whipped cream was served in, ahh, but of course, a champagne glass. Next time I’ll have to try the Creme Brulée or sample whatever confection that may be offered that day.
When you long for a vacation in a faraway land, save the money and go to France in Port Angeles instead. And in the words of that famous gastronome Julia Child, “Bon appetit!”
A fish tale for Sequim
Wed, Mar 6, 2013
The Oasis: A place to eat, drink, play
Mon, Feb 4, 2013
El Cazador: the cure for winter weather
Thu, Dec 13, 2012
Dining choices abundant at 7 Cedars
Wed, Oct 24, 2012
Westside Pizza to the rescue
Tue, Sep 25, 2012
You won't be stymied for a good meal here!
Wed, Aug 29, 2012
Adagio is Italian for "at ease"
Wed, Jul 25, 2012
Curbside dining at The Home Depot
Wed, May 30, 2012
Great view, great food at P.A.’s CrabHouse
Wed, Apr 25, 2012
George Washington tea’d here!
Tue, Mar 27, 2012
Port Angeles’ Traylor’s: All things to all appetites
Thu, Oct 27, 2011
Bent on Teriyaki? Try Bento!
Fri, Sep 30, 2011
Pancakes? You betcha! and then some …
Wed, Aug 24, 2011
Round and round we go, where we stop is ... Hardy’s Market!
Tue, Jul 26, 2011
This Rick’s Place is much closer than Casablanca!
Wed, Jun 22, 2011
Friendly fare from (almost) everywhere
Thu, May 26, 2011
C’est Si Bon is ‘si bon!’
Wed, Apr 27, 2011
The Curious Collection of Dr. William Wickline
Mon, Apr 4, 2011
All fired up? Here’s somewhere to go
Wed, Feb 23, 2011
Return once more to visit an old friend
Tue, Jan 25, 2011