Kris and I finally got around to trying out the newest restaurant at the Harbor, Cote D’Azur. It took the place of Valore’s, which I reviewed on this blog site back in November of last year. Valore’s had some very good Italian food at good prices, but apparently it never caught on with the lake cities populace. Each time we went there, our group was one of only three or four.
The new owners have done a nice job on the interior. They started with the existing tile and faux finish walls and stayed with the same Old World look, but took out the wall mounted flat panel TVs (hurray!) and added a nice fountain in the center of the room, a fireplace and a grand piano.
The lake view is as nice as ever; this was the view from our table inside and if you like, you can sit out on the patio with an even better view of the water.
Given the upscale decor and the French food, you would expect to pay something along the lines of the prices at Blue Canyon, but you’d be in for a pleasant surprise. The lunch specials, in particular, were an excellent deal at $12 or $15 for a three course meal: soup or salad, entree and dessert.
I choose to start with the house salad, which was not huge but tasted great. Their house dressing is excellent.
Kris started off with a mozzarella cheese salad with Roma tomato in Balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Next, I had the sautéed Maryland crab cake with smoked mozzarella raviolis on a bed of creamed corn. It was very good. The portions weren’t large, but they were bigger than I’ve gotten for twice the price at some high end restaurants. The crab cake was very flavorful and the creamed corn really complimented it and the little raviolis.
Kris went for a chicken breast served on a turnip potato cake in basil pesto sauce. Judging by the fact that he completely cleaned up his plate (as did I), I think it must have been pretty good.
Finally, we finished up with the Grand Marnier soufflé, which was light and fluffy and the perfect way to wrap up the meal.
All in all, it was a great value for the price and you can’t ask for a nicer atmosphere in which to dine. I think I’ll definitely be going back. My only complaint would be that there is a bit of that laid-back French attitude, in that it was quite a long time between finishing one course and getting the next. I really don’t mind that; it gives you time to digest what you’ve just eaten before the next course arrives and it certainly beats those restaurants where you feel as if they’re trying to hurry you out, coming over and whisking your plates away before you’re even finished with them. Just be sure you don’t go here when you’re in a hurry, but instead wait until you have plenty of time to leisurely savor the food and the surroundings.
They’re open from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. Unlike at some restaurants, the lunch specials are available on the weekend as well as weekdays. They also had a fairly extensive wine list, although we didn’t indulge.
You can check out the restaurant’s web site (which has one of the longest URLs in the world) at http://www.cotedazurfrenchamericanrestaurant.com/