Friday, January 11, 2008

Sandrine's Restaurant

Well, we are starting off the New Year with a review because what's better than going out to eat? And if you're looking for a little bit of Paris right here in Boston (Cambridge actually) then Sandrine's is the place for you.

The minute you arrive at Sandrine's you are greeted at the front entrance by a design cleverly reminiscent of the fantastic, old art nouveau "Metropolitain" signs that still adorn the public transit entrances at some locations in Paris. Only in Paris can taking the subway be turned into something glamorous and artistic and when we visited we loved the architecture and old-world style of these signs juxtaposed against a backdrop of ultra modern buildings. In any case, it was a nice design touch to bring you right back to the City of Lights. In fact, if it wasn't for the language spoken you would think you actually were in Paris once you stepped inside.

This feeling continues once inside. Sandrine's really does remind one of a great Paris bistro but I would say a bistro of the more elegant variety. The decor is tasteful and muted, with copper highlights, including a wide band stretched around the border of the front room bar. It's fairly small, intimate and would seem a good bet for a romantic dinner but we were dining for lunch. The lunch crowd was primarily business persons and those out for a special day, sprinkled with a few Harvard academics. Window seating is available.

The great test of any bistro food is, of course, the onion soup. Sandrine's scores an A+ on this one. Perfect, really. The onions were cooked but not so overcooked they lost their bite of flavor, the broth was not over salted, thus losing the sweetness of the dish, and the serving crock was properly baked in the oven. The bubbling hot Gruyere cheese, grated over a single, large crouton, was singed to a rich golden hue. This alone would have made it worth the trip.

This being lunch we opted for sandwiches. The turkey club on brioche was quality through and through with flavorful roast turkey, thick slabs of bacon and creamy mayonnaise. The burger was cooked to order, meaty and rich with juice. The pommes frites served were as good as one would find in any Parisian bistro: excellent.

Overall this was a great place to dine and we can't wait to get back for dinner. The service was impeccable: never intrusive, always available and helpful with suggestions. The one negative here was the seven dollar charge for a bottle of Perrier water. That was a bit more like Parisian haute cuisine prices. With that included we could have had the three course prix fixe feast (which looked quite enticing believe me) for just about the same cost. As they say in Paris: "C'est la Vie".

8 Holyoke Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 497-5300

Hours of Operation:
Lunch:Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner:Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm

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