January, 2004: La Cote d'Or Cafe

This restaurant sits amidst motels, garages, and entrances to I-66. Its charming exterior and French-provincial interior make patrons forget the surroundings.

By: David Dorsen

This restaurant sits amidst motels, garages, and entrances to I-66. Its charming exterior and French-provincial interior make patrons forget the surroundings. One negative: The tile floors and stucco walls can make for noisy dining.

The cooking stays close to classic French but adds a distinctive touch or two. Good cold-weather starters are the soups, especially a lobster bisque, a velvety garlic soup, and a traditional vegetable soup. Other appealing starters are the shrimp ProvenÃßal, a terrine of salmon, and a terrine of foie gras. Dishes change rarely.

There are several fine main courses. Dover sole meunière and swordfish steak on a bed of leeks with lobster sauce are enticing seafood dishes. Or try the thinly sliced calf's liver; the filet of beef with mushroom sauce; rabbit Dijonnaise with a mustard sauce; and the classic cassoulet with sausage, duck, and beans. Warm plates are a good thing, but some of the plates coming out of the kitchen are very hot. Desserts are traditional and good.