Café Salade de Fruits – Les Moules et les Moules et les Moules
No ketchup, no refills, and no credit cards. These signs adorn the large brick wall that covers the kitchen area. It would be easy to pass by this little bistro, located inside the French Cultural Centre on West 7th, and completely miss it.
We stopped by for an early lunch on Tuesday while the café wasn’t too busy and we were able to find some parking along the narrow street outside.
It seemed like each table was named after a famous street in France – we were seated at the Rue de Rivoli table (next to the Rue du Louvre). From here, we could see the large picture of Tintin and Snowy on the wall opposite the kitchen and the large mirrors posted along the long wall with the menu items written on it.
The staff here seem to speak to each other in French but I could only make out every fifth word.
I heard that this place had good mussels so I knew that was one of the things we wanted to try. We wound up ordering the large Mussels with Salad (the salad was served with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing). Prior to it arriving, they brought us out some complimentary crusty bread and butter.
I ordered the Souris d’agneau (Lamb Shank) with rice but they brought it out with frites. I’m not complaining because these were really good fries… they were double crunchy and were great for dipping in the mussel broth. The fries here are served with mayo so there’s no need to bother with asking for ketchup.
The lamb shank was quite moist and tender and there was a bit of marrow that you could dig out of the bone.
The big bowl of mussels came served in a white wine sauce and had the biggest, plumpest mussels that we’ve seen so far this year. While it would have been nicer if the broth had more “stuff” in it (ie. shallots or bacon), the sauce was still yummy and I would have been ready to drink it from a glass if it came served like that.
These juicy mussels were very filling but we also wanted to try a dessert and decided on the Baked Alaska. The sponge cake was topped with blood orange and sorbet and topped with meringue and strawberries and blueberries.
Overall, good food and friendly service. Definitely try the mussels if you go here but there is also a big selection of specials available too.
1551 West 7th Avenue