Never in a million years would I have realized that this little foodie-destination exists in Norwalk – had it not been for my fellow foodie-blogger-friend, A.D. (www.realfood-dudes.com). Oceanview Bistro in Norwalk was A.D.’s recommendation. He told me that this is a casual diner by day but then on weekends (Thu- Sun) it gets transformed into a Bistro to serve classic French cuisine for dinner.
Like a responsible foodie that I am, I jotted down the name along with a mental note to give this place a try. Last night, Oceanview’s turn came up. So, I called in the morning to make a reservation and then eagerly waited the rest of the day to get there and taste the food.
Chef Jean Paul Pauillac is the master of this kitchen, boasting a culinary background that includes La Grenouille in NYC. At Oceanview he brings to us a menu that is reminiscent of his childhood in the French countryside. There is an interesting story about chef Pauillac. It is said that he brought his vintage cast iron crepe making machine to America –and instead of taking the chance to check it in with his luggage (and have it damaged), he held on to it throughout the journey! :-) My friends, when you order his crepes for dessert, you WILL understand why.
It is easy to miss this restaurant even though it is stone’s throw away from all the hubbub of South Norwalk. Just go over the bridge from SONO, and then look to your left. Once inside, beware: The very, very, VERY casual interior will make you second guess your decision to come there for a weekend dinner. Just quash your doubts and sit down, will you? Because one look at the menu and you will find yourself saying, “I want that and that and ….” Dishes are not fancy, or fancily presented. Instead, they are hearty, totally-country-style and simply yum!
We started with raw oysters – delivered fresh from Norm Bloom and Sons just around the corner. And we also ordered Escargot Persillade. OMG! I have never had escargot taste this good. This dish was not made with your average garlic and butter sauce. No sir! This sauce was unique and rich in flavor – it kept me guessing the ingredients inside it. It tasted like it has simmered for hours. This is a must try, people! And if you figure out how Chef Pauillac makes it, just tweet me @FCFoodie_CT (it will be our little secret, I promise)
Our entrees of Cod Fish Provencal and Boeuf Bourguignon were delicious and truly home-style, with a nice helping of mashed potatoes and rice on the side.
For dessert we ordered Crepe Suzette. Excellent choice! That vintage crepe machine is a keeper, Chef Pauillac! The crepe was so light, soft and chewy. It was topped with the most delicious citrus sauce and shaved citrus rinds. Two scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream on top simply sealed the deal. BTW: While we did not order them, the Profiteroles looked tempting as well. We were told that they have been a permanent fixture on the menu at Oceanview.
A diner by day and a French bistro by night. Hope you give this little gem a try.
Please remember: It is BYOB.
Oceanview Bistro | 201 Liberty Sq, Norwalk CT | http://oceanviewcafect.webs.com/