Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Faux Bordeaux

The first time I went to Bistrot du Coin was with a dashing Italian man that worked at the World Bank. I have no memory of what we ate, but we laughed and drank a lot, and it seemed so very European. Ever since then, that feeling of romance has been what has brought me back to the place, and when I finally started paying attention to the food, it did not matter much that the steak frites were nothing to write home about. But last week, something happened to break the Gallic spell. Celebrating a colleague's birthday, I ordered a bottle of Bordeaux Blanc. I realize that this generic name invited a bit of risk, but I was not expecting to be served something was not only nasty but that wasn't even a Bordeaux! Closer inspection revealed that it was from the Languedoc region in the south of France (not the most prestigious of wine producing regions, admits my friend H, who grew up there). Astonishingly, our waiter insisted that this was the "Bordeaux du jour", and shrugged unconcernedly when we pointed out that the regions were not interchangeable. When we refused dessert in protest, he brought us some calvados on the house, just to take the edge off. Okay, nice gesture. But still, in a place that so heavily relies on creating a French ambience, the last thing it needs to do is to serve a faux bordeaux.


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