La Côte d’Or Café

January 2005

This restaurant has moved around the corner–its old space has been taken by Le Bistro des Célestins, a French bistro that shows promise. The new premises are more upscale, and while the dining experience is still a good one, it has gone downhill a bit. Service stumbled on a recent visit.

Two appetizers–asparagus feuilletage with a basil cream sauce and clams Rockefeller–were very good. But two were so-so–a house-made pâté and sea scallops with ravioli that included, inexplicably, a handful of raspberries.

The main courses were more consistent–good but not noteworthy. A veal chop stuffed with creamed spinach and Parmesan cheese had fine flavor but seemed undersized. Cassoulet Toulousian included excellently prepared beans, good duck, insufficient lamb, and marginal sausage. Loup de Mer, a Mediterranean fish, appeared in the form of Chilean sea bass–not bad, but not loup de mer. Dover sole was okay.

At a dinner in the fall, swordfish with lobster sauce and calf's liver were good, but the portions seemed skimpy. Desserts were fine, although a tarte Tatin emerged from the kitchen with an inflated crust rather than the upside-down tart it's supposed to be.

La Côte D'Or Café, 2201 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington; 703-538-3033; Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, Sunday through Friday for lunch, Sunday for brunch.

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