Left Bank Brasserie in San Jose Ready for Spring
It’s spring, and at the Left Bank Brasserie in San Jose, located in the bustling Santana Row shopping district, special cocktails turn all shades of green.
The Specialities des Cocktails front runner, Rue Cler, served in a martini glass, combines all things green – apple, basil, lime, and agave on top of peach vodka, while a newcomer Green Loire is redolent of basil and ginger over rum and St. Germain, and topped with lime-ginger foam. As for the appetizers, there is a spring-green watercress soup, and the restaurant’s signature Fondue aux Fromages – an addictive mixture of blue cheese, goat cheese, and brie, served with bread and toasts.
Spring tastes and colors grace even the most meat-centered section of the menu – Charcuterie Maison – with red radishes and baby arugula offsetting rich silky chicken liver truffle mousse and crunchy julienned pig ear in Salade d’Oreille de Cochons.
Light and refreshing Montfaucon rose (2010 Les Gardettes) comes as a great accompaniment to spring-themed starters, but the heavy-hitters are found on the classic Vins Rouges list and Les Plates menu, for which Left Bank Brasserie is known among the Bay Area Francophiles. The 2009 Frederic Magnien pinot noir from Burgundy is a wholesome and full-bodied complement to any meat course, or even a hearty fish stew in tomato broth.
At the suggestion of our knowledgeable server, I chose this Espelette-spicy Basque dish containing juicy morsels of various seafood and house-made chorizo – a real body- and soul-warming experience on a cool spring afternoon!
My dining companion also followed her suggestion for a dark-meat-only coq au vin, marinated in red wine, cooked with pearl onions, baby carrots, and button mushrooms, and served over buttery fettuccine.
At the end of our meal I felt rather satisfied, or in other words, could hardly breathe, but was not able to resist a scrumptious dessert – an apple cake with apricot glaze and vanilla crème Anglaise.
A glass of tokaji from the Hungarian Royal Tokaji Wine Company was as sweet as a spring breeze.
Left Bank Brasserie San Jose is located at 377 Santana Row, San Jose, CA. Call for reservations (408) 984-3500 or visit their website.