I always look forward to Restaurant Week (yes, I know they call it Dine Out Week now but it will always be Restaurant Week to me) and start looking at menus as soon as the list is put online. I would like to go to 20 restaurants but for both monetary and health (read weight) reasons I try to limit myself to two. Okay, so maybe I add one and slip in an extra lunch somewhere. But that's it. So I read all the menus (if there are no menus posted it is very rare I will go there, I want to know what I'm getting) and start picking favorites. This time around Ma Maison stuck out for some reason. Well, let's face it. It was the creme caramel they had for dessert. The dessert is always very important to my decision. So I made my reservation and made sure I knew how to get there. And then I looked forward to it all week.
It was rather unassuming on the outside but I did like the cute little snail logo on the window. It is warm and inviting inside and I was greeted warmly at the door. I was seated in the window where I could watch the people walking by in the street. I was the only one there when I arrived at 6:30 but by seven it started to fill up. It isn't big, you can see the whole place from the front door, but the seating doesn't feel crowded.
Everything was going great until I was handed the menu. The Dine Out menu they gave me was not the one that I saw online. They didn't have the asparagus salad appetizer I had planned on so I got the fried clams. They did have the entree I planned on so I was able to get the Beef Tenderloin Strogonoff with Beets Pasta. But the real tragedy was that creme caramel was not on the menu. The only dessert choice was peach cobbler cake with vanilla ice cream.
I got a cocktail to start. They have a section on the menu with French
cocktails, all of which have champagne as the first ingredient. And I figured, when in a French restaurant... So I got one. It was delicious. Then they brought out some bread. Which was good as well. But since I really like bread and always enjoy complimentary bread I'm probably not the best judge.
The fried clam appetizer came with a Dijon mustard creme brulee. Which sounded odd and slightly worrying to me and when it came out it looked like a creme brulee served in a clam shell. The batter on the clams was nice and light and crisp. And the Dijon went with them very nicely. And it was a very big portion for an appetizer.
Then it was time for dessert. It is a very sad thing how disappointed I was not to be eating creme caramel. But once again the food looked and tasted good but I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if I was not expecting something else. Still, half way through the dessert I was wishing I had left a little on my plate the previous two courses because I just couldn't finish the whole thing.
The service was good. Everyone was friendly and polite. My water glass was always full. I didn't feel hushed or forgotten. They made me feel like they were happy I had come in. It is a place I would go back to. And maybe someday I'll be brave enough to go there and get the Friday special of frog legs.