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Friday, July 16, 2010

Date Like a Gay Guy: L'Ardoise Bistro: Let Them Eat Coq

Posted By on Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 3:40 PM

click to enlarge Foie gras terrine with brioche toasts. - TREVOR ADAMS
  • Trevor Adams
  • Foie gras terrine with brioche toasts.
Left to his own devices, your average straight guy would take a woman to a place as deal-breaking dreary as Garçon. We homos can be just as bad ― an order of taquitos fleshed out with three rounds of margaritas at Leticia's is *not* a date by any reasonable standards. But don't stress, fail-prone straight guys, straight gals, and queers of either gender: SFoodie's "Date Like a Gay Guy" will regularly dispense night-out advice that, if rigorously followed, should actually make a good impression on whomever you're seeking to impress. Imagine that.

There are times when "going out on a date" can veer off into a genuine dining experience. L'Ardoise can be like that. Shielded from Market Street's endless commotion ― not to mention the endless flirtations of the Castro Boy directed at your date, whether he happens to be gay or not ― L'Ardoise is the kind of place where you probably won't have to compete for your dining partner's attentions.

The restaurant is situated in Duboce Triangle, on a tree-lined backstreet reminiscent to one of the quieter arrondissements of Paris. The French-speaking staff leads you into a dimly lit dining room, where couples woo and wandering eyes peer over a classic French menu ranging from foie to confit. The room has a quaintness that manages to avoid being stifling, even if the tables are close enough so that it's hard to avoid ogling the food going out to the couples all around you.

click to enlarge Coq au vin with purée de pommes de terre. - TREVOR ADAMS
  • Trevor Adams
  • Coq au vin with purée de pommes de terre.
The foie gras terrine comes accented with slices of toasted featherweight brioche ― it's the sort of thing that dissolves on your tongue. (The wine to go with: Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste Sauternes, with coconut and flowery notes.) By the time the coq au vin arrives, with its blackened skin on top and silken potato puree underneath, your date should be swearing it's the best she's had this side of the Charles de Gaulle exit ramp. She should already have drifted off into the kind of food euphoria that, like the right kind of lighting, can't help but make you look good. Be modest.

L'Ardoise Bistro 151 Noe (at Henry), 437-2600.

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