My husband and I celebrated the sale of our North Carolina home with a prix fixe meal at this modern, French-inflected New American restaurant on Hayward’s downtown stretch. Using an Amazon Local deal, we dined on three courses each for only $40 including a glass of champagne. It was the second time I’d been to Bijou, and I love their bold design scheme of golds and greens with a luxurious dividing screen between lounge and dining room.
It might seem contrary to the ambience, but both Sunday nights I’ve been have been popular ones for watching football in the lounge. I’ve enjoyed that contrast of upscale dining with regular old sports-fan enthusiasm. On our previous trip, I also enjoyed the creative cocktail list and a delicious cream of cauliflower soup. For this dinner, the best course ended up being my first one, a puff pastry served with lobster, carrots, and peas in a Pernod sauce.
The puff pastry was almost overbrowned, which is the perfect time to serve it in my opinion. The delicate sauce showed off the succulent lobster bites, and the peas and carrots hearkened back to a traditional pot pie.
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Goats in Villages Shiraz Pinotage
Note: No vintage I could see.
The artwork on this bottle of wine and the playfulness of the distributor’s name — Goats Do Roam — charm me. For Trader Joe’s, this is a high-end bottle at $9.99. Smells like blackberry gumdrops with a hint of licorice.
I haven’t drunk wine this pleasant in a while — we’ve mostly been on a $5 wine budget until our North Carolina house sells (6 days, knock on wood!). It has a bit too much alcohol heat for me, but my cheeks are tickled by the pleasant peppery mouthfeel, and I’m enjoying a note of beef. Which means drinking this wine is similar to dining on a peppered rib eye. Vanilla, custard, and blackberry layer into those savory notes very well. Ending impressions are dry eucalyptus with an attractive touch of bitterness.
This is a great value. Let it seduce you for all 10 of those dollars.
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