They offer traditional French cuisine.

Le Bistro Du Village

Restaurant Review

Le Bistro du Village–Formerly Crepe Du Jour

Mt. Washington, Baltimore, Maryland 

The red awning hung over the bright blue and yellow restaurant front. Flower-tiled patio tables equipped with blue chairs lined the sidewalk in front of the entrance like the sidewalk cafes in Paris.

Zagat and TripAdvisor Ratings

The awards and ratings from Zagat and TripAdvisor that decorated the front door beckoned me.

Le Bistro Du Village specializes in French cuisine.

Le Bistro Du Village offers good food at reasonable prices in a casual atmosphere.

French Country Decor

Inside, the French country rust-toned tablecloths topped with bright red poinsettias created an elegant ambiance. A mirror and framed French photos adorned the walls, and tied back drapes made the room feel like home.

The host seated me at a table where I could gaze out on the quiet street in Mt. Washington, Baltimore, Maryland.

Le Bistro Du Village Menu

The menu offered a variety of authentic French food like boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin, but I opted for crepes.

Le Bistro Du Village in Baltimore, Maryland

Le Bistro Du Village in Baltimore serves a fresh tasting salad.

Salad

I started with a side salad that consisted of young spinach and red leaf lettuce, a pale tomato, and pieces of sliced onion. Crumbled feta and balsamic vinaigrette topped the greens.

The mescaline mix tasted cold, crisp and fresh. The feta and onion added a bite, and the vinegar gave it a tang. The salad was a good start.

Le Bistro Du Village in Baltimore, Maryland

Crepe Paysanne is filled with chicken and vegetables in a cream sauce.

Crepes

I ordered the Crepe Paysanne for my entree. The crepe was dense and darker than I expected and slightly tough. It was folded around a concoction that included chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and prosciutto, blended in a béchamel sauce. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly and had a distinct flavor and consistency, and the bite-size chicken tasted tender. The combination was creamy and savory.

Le Bistro Du Village in Baltimore, Maryland

Bananas and coconut mixed in a chocolate sauce filled this crepe.

I finished with a banana, coconut, and chocolate crepe. The pancake was also a little thicker and browner than expected. I sliced the dough and found coconut and banana in a decadent chocolate sauce. The coconut tasted fresh and crunched slightly in my mouth and mixed well with the banana that seemed perfectly ripe, not too firm and not too soft. It was difficult to not devour the entire dessert.

My Crepe Experience

My mother-in-law had introduced me to crepes, and I have also ordered them in Gustavia, St. Barthelemy; Marigot, Saint Martin; both in the French West Indies; and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris. Those crepes were thin, lightly browned, and fork-tender. My mother-in-law’s crepes rated with those featured in the French restaurants; though she was Irish Catholic.

Despite my disappointment in the crepes at Le Bistro Du Village, I loved the ingredients inside of them, and I would recommend this lovely neighborhood restaurant.

My meal without tip totaled $28. Prices start at $7 for a salad and range to $29 for entrees. They also provide a wine and cocktail list.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Contact: 410-542-9000
Address: 1609 Sulgrave Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209
Website: https://lebistroduvillage.com
Service: Good
Reservations: Accepted
Parking: Street or Valet Thursday to Sunday
Hours: Monday: 11am-9pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday: 11am-10:30pm
Saturday: 10am-10:30pm
Sunday: 10am-9pm

*           Poor
**         Satisfactory
***       Good
****     Very Good
*****   Outstanding

Cantina 76

Cantina 76 Restaurant Review

Cantina 76 Restaurant Review Article

Cantina 76 in Columbia, South Carolina

Customers dine on Tex-Mex in Cantina 76 on Main Street in Columbia, S.C.

Cantina 76, Main Street Columbia, S.C.

Cantina 76 tortilla chips with queso, guacamole, and salsa are a good start.

The Cantina Margarita

The Cantina Margarita tasted refreshing and like a “Skinny Margarita. “

A group of friends from Columbia with a love for travel and food established Cantina 76 in Columbia, South Carolina. Currently, the restaurant has three locations, two in Columbia and one in Greenville.

 

Inside, customers can watch TV and dine at the high top and low top tables or sit at the bar. Small lights string around the perimeter; and stars and metal lights hang from the ceiling creating an uncontrived atmosphere. Outside, pansies flow from hanging baskets, and tables flank the restaurant on two sides. Though the tables are under a metal awning, customers can still enjoy the sun. Cantina 76 has a come-as-you-are atmosphere. Casual to dressy attire is acceptable.

 

Cantina 76 features signature margaritas, tacos, enchiladas, salads and more. They tout an atmosphere where customers can relax and dine on Mexican-influenced cuisine made with fresh ingredients. They pitch premium tequila and creative margaritas. The Cantina 76 menu offers a variety of soft tacos on flour tortillas, but hard corn tacos are also available. Chicken Pesto, Teriyaki Chicken, Peruvian Shrimp, Barbecue Brisket, and Fish are a sampling of their 12 taco creations. In addition, they offer weekly specials.

 

We sat outside where dogs lay under their owners’ tables, and we began with Tres Hombres Sampler. We dipped crispy salted tortilla chips in queso, salsa, and guacamole. The warm queso’s mild cheese tasted rich and creamy, and a touch of minced green pepper gave it a slight crunch and sweetness. The salsa had a tangy kick with a hint of lime. Small pieces of avocado, onion, tomato and garlic added flavor and interest to the guacamole. It was a great start.

 

I tried the Barbecue Shrimp Taco. Sautéed onions and feta accompanied perfectly seared shrimp topped with a Chipotle barbecue sauce. The sweet, spicy sauce and the feta’s saltiness added a welcoming punch.

 

The Barbecue Brisket Taco sweetened with honey barbecue tasted down-home. Pico de gallo lightened the sauce and balanced the sweetness. We loved it.

 

The Traditional Taco included chili-spiced-ground beef, melted cheese, lettuce, and tomato. There was no sauce. The ground beef tasted lean, and the taco was ordinary.

 

Everything was fresh and the tacos were not overstuffed which made them easy to handle and not too filling.

 

Instead of dessert, I tried the Cantina Margarita. Salt rimmed the glass that contained tequila, plenty of fresh lime juice, low-sugar-agave nectar, and a quartered-half lime. Agave nectar blended with lime tasted sweet and refreshing.

 

I would recommend Cantina 76 because they offer quality food and selection at reasonable prices.

 

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Cantina 76

Location: 1301 Main St., Columbia

Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Monday – Wednesday; 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Thursday – Saturday; closed Sunday; no reservations

Cost: Tacos start at $2.99.

Info: 803-543-3279 http://www.cantina76.com

The fountain in the courtyard at The Setai

Tranquility at The Setai resort in Miami Beach

Roses and an orange in the lobby at The Setai

Roses and an orange in the lobby at The Setai )photo by dorothyadele)

The Setai hotel in South Beach Miami, Fla., is rated one of the top luxury hotels in the area. The art deco design, peaceful ambiance, and outstanding customer service places The Setai in a unique category.

Upon entry, the hotel’s atmosphere transports visitors to a tranquil resort. Oranges are displayed in clear glass globes on wooden tables in the courtyard and along the walkways to remind visitors that they are in South Florida and not just in an Asian retreat.

As we entered The Setai, the front desk agent greeted us and gave us cold lemongrass iced tea and warm moist hand towels to freshen us while we waited to check in. The dimly lit hotel and lobby made me feel like I had entered a spa.

As we exited the elevator and walked toward our room instrumental music drifted through the hall. We entered our softly lit suite and heard music that had previously been turned on.

A suite at The Setai in Miami Beach,Fla.

A suite at The Setai in Miami Beach, Fla spells luxury. (photo by dorothyadele)

Dark cherry colored wood floors, cream-colored walls, and sleek brown rectangular tables and lamps create a peaceful art deco design in our room. A comfortable king size bed is set against the far wall beyond a brown square table with two chairs. The hotel management is serious about relaxation, and it was the first hotel room that I have visited that didn’t have an obvious clock.

Room amenities include a large bathroom with double-above -the-counter sinks and a large shower. The overhead rain shower and the wall system stream water from two directions.

Guests may brew tea, espresso, regular and decaf coffee with the shiny black and stainless Illy coffee maker in the room. The coffee maker includes a steam wand for milk frothing. The Setai also offers a beach bag and umbrella for guests to use while visiting.

The hotel has three large pools set at different temperatures. Large comfortable lounge chairs are near the pools and on the beach. Between the pools and the beach is an outdoor bar and restaurant. The food is excellent.

I have never visited a hotel comparable to The Setai. The Setai’s soothing atmosphere, muted decor, and superb customer service offer the traveler a unique experience.

The Setai lounge near the pools

The Setai lounge near the pools (photo by dorothyadele)

Deanie’s Seafood Restauant New Orleans

Our cab driver recommended Deanie’s Seafood in the French Quarter for lunch yesterday. I knew that it was a good choice when I noticed policemen and several other local folks dining in the restaurant.

The waitress brought us boiled-red-skinned potatoes with butter before taking our order. They were slightly spicy and filling. When the waitress delivered our drinks she told us about the specials. I was distracted by the huge size of the drinks and I had to ask her to repeat the specials.

My bloody mary was rich and spicy with a hint of Worcestershire​ sauce. Shrimp, green beans and olives garnished the drink. It was a great bloody mary. I know this will surprise many of you, but somehow​ I managed to finish it.

We split barbecued shrimp which were actually shrimp sauteed in a buttery-barbecued-like sauce. We loved them. Next we split grilled oysters. The oysters were topped with seasonings and parmesan cheese. I thought that the parmesan gave the oysters a different twist. They were great too. Bread accompanied both dishes for dipping, and we also used the potatoes. The sauces were delicious and I suspect very fattening. Who cares, we are in New Orleans! My entree was seafood gumbo which had small shrimp and rice.

It was a great first meal in New Orleans. I would definitely return.

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The Best Cream of Crab Soup — The Narrows Restaurant

Outside of The Narrows Restaurant

Outside of The Narrows Restaurant (photo by dorothyadele)

The Narrows Restaurant in Grasonville, Maryland offers a taste of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Narrows is a relaxed fine-dining restaurant with a lovely water view at Kent Narrows near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The restaurant caters to blue-jean-and-khaki-clad locals and tourists alike. They specialize in seafood but also offer salads, chicken, quail, steak and more.

I have enjoyed their moist-flaky-mild-flavored rockfish, spicy vegetable based crab soup, fried oyster caesar salad and award-winning-broiled-lump crab cakes. Their food is fresh, filling and flavorful.

However, their award-winning-cream-of-crab soup is the best that I have ever had. I don’t splurge often, but when we dine at The Narrows, we always order the cream of crab soup. Lump crab fills the rich, creamy bisque-like soup. They serve sherry on the side which gives it added flavor with a kick. (If the waitress serves it without sherry, just ask.) The Narrows ships their crab soups and crab cakes, so you may order from their website.

I think you will agree that their cream of crab soup is the richest, most delicious that you have ever tried.

If not, who do you think has the best?