Chez Francois

One thing we crossed off our to do list this summer was visiting Chez Francois in Vermilion.  We had heard so many great things about this place and wanted to check it out, but the distance kept us away.  If you read this blog, you know we like to have a cocktail or two, and the thought of driving all that way after dinner just wasn’t appealing to us.  So we decided to make it an overnight.  If you’ve been to Vermilion, you know it is not exactly a booming metropolis.  A cute little town on the lake, yes, but there are not a whole lot of options for places to stay.  We settled on a place in Huron called Captain Montague’s.  It wasn’t exactly next door to Chez Francois, but a lot closer than driving home.  The place was nice, very clean (which is most important in our book), and the innkeepers were so friendly and welcoming.

Our table wasn’t ready when we arrived so we had a seat at the upstairs bar to wait.  The evening did not get off to a great start when we had to send the mojito back (much too sweet) and the bartender offered a glass of moscato when we asked for something dry.  On the bright side, it was a beautiful night, a lovely spot right on the lake, and the sevice in the dining room was a big step up from the bar.  Please excuse the horrible pictures.  As the evening got darker, the pictures got worse.  It was fairly dark and quiet in the dining room and we didn’t want to disturb the other diners with our flash.

Amuse bouche – gazpacho

Appetizer of lobster and gruyere cheese in puff pastry with black currant sauce

House salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Veal with scallop, shrimp and lobster

She said…The amuse bouche was fresh and tasty.  The appetizer was disappointing to me.  The black courant sauce really overpowered the rest of the dish.  The flakey crust on the puff pastry was great, but I could hardly taste the cheese or the lobster.  The salad was good, above average as far as house salads go.  My entree was very rich, but good.  Overall, I thought the food was of high quality and well executed, but I just couldn’t get too excited about the menu.  It’s very traditional, which just isn’t my thing.  I like an eclectic menu with bold flavors and unexpected combinations.

Beef Wellington – Center-cut filet mignon, grilled, wrapped in puff pastry with Hudson Valley foie gras, mushroom duxelles and black truffles with sauce Perigueux.

He said…I was also a little disappointed with the first course.  The black currant sauce was too sweet for me and I did not taste any of the lobster.  However, my entree certainly made up for the first course.  The beef was a perfect medium rare and the puff pastry was flaky and delicious.  The foie gras had a beautiful creamy texture, which complemented the beef wellington.  Finally, the sauce was very rich and added depth to the dish.

The restaurant’s atmosphere and service were exceptional and we enjoyed our evening.  Together with our stay at Captain Montague’s, it was a nice way to celebrate a special occasion.

Chez Francois Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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