Last month I celebrated my 30th birthday. And since I can hardly think of a better excuse for a fancy dinner out, that is exactly what the hubby and I did. I had been wanting to try D&L Bistro ever since a friend recommended them, so we seized this opportunity and made reservations.
The restaurant itself is located in unassuming storefront in the South Memorial Plaza shopping center. Inside, the decor is understated, with the air of quality furnishings that have been well loved. The eating area is broken into smaller groupings, with tables tucked into nooks and crannies. Our table shared a small alcove with another table for two and a large window. The wall to our left adjoined the kitchen and at the start of our meal there were loud grating noises that sounded like the ice machine turning over. I was relieved that not only were these not repeated during our dinner, but the tables were spaced well enough that we were able to have a private conversation even with another couple at the next table over.
We placed our order–we both selected the fillet mignon–and sampled the spread. The cheese was soft and tangy, mixed with fresh herbs which included rosemary. The crackers, even the wheat ones, were buttery and crisp.
In addition to the cracker plate, our meals included house salads, bread, and a chicken vegetable consomme. As we finished the cheese and crackers, the salads appeared, complete with chilled salad forks.
The salads were simple, a mix of greens, tossed in dressing, and topped with onion, shredded carrots, radishes, croutons, and a touch of Parmesan. The vegetables were fresh, the radishes were crunchy with a lovely mild flavor, but the dressing had made the croutons a little soggy around the edges. The dressing was excellent, mostly oil, blended with fresh herbs, including more rosemary.
Accompanying the salad was the bread basket.
The bread was soft, with a light flavor, and came served with oil and vinegar for dipping. The oil sported a perfect dipping consistency and a light flavor, the balsamic vinegar was a tangy compliment. The Italian seasonings sprinkled on top did little for the flavor, but they made a pretty presentation. Taken together it was a fantastic combination.
The chicken vegetable consomme, intended to clear the palate, was brought out in a small cup between courses.
Consomme is essentially a clarified stock and this one was well done indeed with a rich depth of flavor.
Our filet mignon entrees (shown at the top of this post) were served with the potatoes du jur and vegetable du jur. On the day we visited those were red roasted potatoes with garlic and broccoli florets with garlic and Parmesan sauce.
The broccoli had the bright green color and slight crunchiness that suggests blanching. It combined wonderfully with the light housemade Alfredo sauce. The potatoes featured crispy exteriors, tender interiors and the soft flavors of oil and rosemary.
The filet was wonderful. Meltingly tender with a bold flavor on its own, it also paired beautifully with the Alfredo sauce from the broccoli. The best accompaniment though was the provided butter which resulted in a delicious sweet, savory, salty combination. The butter was creamy and tasted to be blended with a bit of Worcestershire sauce.
At this point we might have cried uncle, but it was a celebration. And all proper celebrations require chocolate. (I’m pretty sure there is a rule about that somewhere) So we soldiered on and ordered a half size of the Chocolate Eruption to split.
This was a desert for serious chocolate lovers–a dark chocolate cake filled with milk chocolate mousse which was embedded with chunks of white chocolate cheesecake, bits of toffee and caramel, topped ganache and a bit of raspberry glaze and served with fresh whipped cream. It was outstanding.
The chocolate mousse was dense and rich, the cheesecake smooth and sultry. The bits of toffee and caramel were thin and snapped easily, providing a bit of crunch more than flavor. The dark chocolate cake succeed in being rich and dense, with a truly dark chocolate flavor. The fresh whipped cream was airy and sweet. The sliced strawberry added for garnish was fresh and the raspberry sauce added just a touch of tartness.
Our experience was excellent. The filet mignon was one of the best I’ve ever had and the chocolate eruption is fantasy worthy. The food was well done, with careful attention to flavor pairings, especially in sauces. Our server was attentive without hovering, appearing at just the right moments. Their dinner menu is solidly fine dining, but they do offer both pasta dishes and small plates at lower price points. Their lunch menu ranges from $10-$13, putting in in line with many of the sit-down restaurants in Huntsville. We will absolutely be back.
Total for the meal: $70.20 (Includes two fillet mignon entrees and two soft drinks)
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