Brigitte’s French Mediterranean
351 Saratoga Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Tel: (408) 404-7043
Fax: (408) 246-2332
This tiny little place is hard to find but is worth searching for. For starters, we tried a couple of their velouté soups. They were simply prepared and well done. We also tried their mussels which were nicely seasoned with fresh thyme, parsley, and garlic. All the starters were slightly under-seasoned but I think this is part of their philosophy of creating “gourmet and healthy cuisine.”
For main courses, we had the following:
Rabbit Sausage Ragout – Ragout of rabbit sausage with tomato, herbs, mushroom, served on soft polenta.
Lamb Roast with Flageolets – Roasted loin of lamb served over a flageolet cassoulet with smoked bacon.
Hanger Steak – Beef hanger steak pan roasted, served with a Roquefort cream sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus.
All were tasty but slightly under-seasoned. Again, not bland but everything could have been finished with a little bit of fleur de sel. All meats were cooked perfectly. They even ask you if you want it “French” or “American” style (the French being slightly more rare) when you specify how well done you’d like it cooked. Portion sizes are typically French and are not overwhelming.
For dessert we had some vanilla ice cream, caramel ice cream, crème brulee, and moelleux au chocolate. All were tasty but not incredibly memorable. The caramel ice cream was the best done of the bunch.
The wine selection is good but tends to be relatively pricy. I chose the 2002 Santenay 1er Cru, Lucien Muzard “la Maladiere.” The wine is served at room temperature which is to say a little warm. It was a good choice but I would have loved to taste it 10 degrees cooler or so. The heat really brings out the alcohol nose of the pinot noir grape.
Overall, this is a great little place. It’s got a really nice neighborhood feel and the proprietor is really nice and friendly. My only complaint is that the value is not that great. Entrée prices hover around $19-$25. The wine selection is also on the higher end with most bottles $60 or more. I’ll definitely be returning but I would do it more often if the prices were about 10% or so less and the wine selection a bit broader (with a larger selection of good wines in the $30-$40 range).
I give Brigitte’s 4 stars but only 2 stars for value.