Well Dined

20Jan/100

Bastille

Bastille is set off of the beaten path in a largely industrial area of Alexandria. The restaurant itself, however, is warm, intimate, and bistro-like. They have a good wine list, including a large selection of reserves, imported and artisanal beers, and artisanal sodas.

The couple we came with had eaten there before and steered me towards the shrimp and calamari beignets - and rightly so. They were hot, crispy outside, tender chunks of seafood inside, and served with a sheep's milk yogurt and harissa dip. Jasper had the organic chicken liver mousse with cranberry gelee, which was also very good.

As an entree, I had the bouillabaisse - made with big chunks of cod, shrimp, scallops, and mussels; hearty winter vegetables like carrots and parsnips; and a tomato broth. Jasper had perfectly seared scallops on a creamy black truffle risotto. Our companions had the salmon, and the hangar steak - served with bordelaise and a huge pile of fresh french fries.

We added a cheese course for an extra $12. I love all and any cheeses, but the highlights of this course were the house made spiced raisins and the Black Pepper d’Affinois cheese - a French double cream (like brie).

For dessert I had the ginger spice cake with vanilla mascarpone and spiced banana and raisin compote with crunchy walnuts. Jasper had the Valrhona chocolate pot de creme. Both were excellent. Our companions had the sweet potato crème caramel with cranberry compote and caramel corn.

After having just eaten at the French La Bergerie the night before, I would have to say that I vastly recommend Bastille as the better restaurant. I would definitely make the drive to Alexandria to eat here again.

http://www.bastillerestaurant.com

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