Bistro Chezanne

Do you Twitter? You should. Especially if you’re a restaurant – in fact, it’s one of the first things I look for after a website. It’s a great way to let potential customers know what your daily special is, what entertainment you have going on, etc. Speaking as someone who used to hate the idea (“who is so self-centred enough that they feel the need to update the world on everything they’re doing every five seconds?” Oh, that’d be me? Well, then!) it's actually a great place to meet like-minded people. Oh, and let the world know what you're doing every five seconds.

Actually, I like it because it’s quickly become my source for news and information. We actually found Bistro Chezanne through Twitter because someone on my list mentioned that she had an amazing meal there the night before, and we just happened to be near it the following day.

The address is Mississauga, but it’s actually in Streetsville, which is a small section of Mississauga. Right on the corner of Queen and Main, it’s a fairly new restaurant that serves up French food in a cozy atmosphere.

The decor is subtle with pretty art on the walls and candlelight on each table. The front dining room has a big bay window that overlooks the street, but it’s close to the front door so I was afraid it’d be drafty. We were seated at a table in the back dining room by the bar, and found it much quieter back there. The tables have dark linens (a nice change from the white you see everywhere) and ridiculously comfortable chairs. It was all very cozy and intimate.

Our server brought us water in a carafe (nice to have at the table so you don’t have to keep asking for refills) and we ordered a bottle of white wine while we mulled over the menu. Though not a large menu by any means, the dishes were all described in such delicious detail it was hard to narrow down our choices.
We started with the Escargot de Bourgogne ($11) which came out piping hot and cooked in the shells. One of my biggest complaints with escargot is when they are drenched in butter so it’s a greasy mess that you lose the essence of what you’re actually eating. The ratio of butter and garlic to escargot was perfect and made an excellent light start to the meal.
Jersey has never tried frog legs before, and our server recommended the Grenouilles ($14) for him. Served in a tarragon brandy cream sauce with a taste of warm tomato salad, it was fabulous. The legs were cooked so the meat fell off the bone while bursting with flavour in each bite. The sauce...oh my goodness, the sauce...we had to have a second bread basket so we didn’t leave a drop of it. Creamy, flavourful, seasoned perfectly – if I could bottle that sauce and drink it, I would have.
We really struggled with what to order, so we again turned to our server for help in suggesting her favourites. I often ask staff what they recommend and have generally been pleased with their help, so it’s something we do often. Turns out our server had only been working for a little bit, but she had been able to try about 1/3 of the menu and was able to answer our questions based on her own experience. I loved that! I cannot stress the importance of this enough: let your staff eat your food so they can tell customers about it. If they like something, it will come through and make me want it more. It’s a win-win!

Back to the dinner, she suggested the Beef Bourguignonne ($22) because the kitchen had said earlier in the evening that it was the “best batch” they had ever made. Well! That’s a bold statement to make, so we had to know what all the excitement was about, so Jersey ordered it for his entree. Braised beef short ribs with bacon, mushroom and onions with a side of potatoes and vegetables were beautifully plated and served to us. We could actually smell it before it reached our table, and were drooling in anticipation for the meal. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and seasoned well. Though I didn’t find much bacon in the dish, there were hints of smokiness that came through every so often. The vegetables were cooked to a crisp and the mashed potatoes were creamy with a hint of goat cheese.
One of my weaknesses is lamb – if I see it on a menu, I have to order it. The Lamb ($28) here was served as two medallions over a bed of mashed potatoes and served with grilled zucchini. There were crispy parsnip chips and a fantastic sauce that was sweet with a hint of smokiness. I’ve tried lamb from many places, but this was hands down, the best lamb I have ever had in my life. My life!!
Both entrees were so delicious that Jersey and I actually split them both so we could savour the different tastes and textures. It was no easy feat pulling that lamb away from me though, let me tell you.

Finally, we ended with the daily dessert special which was a Pear Tart that was extremely sweet, but served over cinnamon unsweetened yogurt. I am not generally a fan of yogurt, but it cut the sweetness of the tart so perfectly that I needed it with each bite. The yogurt is actually a fantastic alternative to the usual whipped cream you so often find on desserts these days.
Overall, this was one of the best new restaurants we have been to in the past while. The attention to detail in the food, and the impeccable service made it a wonderful evening. If you are looking for an intimate night where you can linger over a fantastic meal, I highly recommend Bistro Chezanne. I believe the winter menu is now available, as is a Prix Fixe menu that offers a three course meal for only $32.

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Bistro Chezanne
209 Queen St. S, Mississauga