I was looking for a French restaurant when I stumbled upon Chez Jacqueline, a bistro in Soho. Besides an interesting menu, what convinced me further to try it was their Wednesday deal: $15 for steak. And not just a couple of cuts: you can choose sirloin, filet mignon, skirt, etc. Of course, for that price, do not expect a ribeye or porterhouse!
So, we arrive in this MacDougal's restaurant and got seated right away, the restaurant not being that crowded considering such a good deal should not be missed. Few people at the bar, as well as few tables taken. Decor wise, it got its charm, definitely looking like a French bistro you would find in France, and with a touch of Provence.
The first thing I was looking forward to trying was the bread as in France, you cannot imagine a meal without it and as it is the first thing you start with, it can tell you if the meal will be good or not. I was not disappointed as they served us an épi, a sort of baguette with pointy sides, looking like wheat. A quite classic bread in France that I have very rarely seen in New York. The bread came hot and was deliciously crispy. Ok, so, usually the bread is hot to enhance the crispness because it was bought earlier in the day and lost some of this. It is also a trick for a day old bread that is not too hard (this one was probably bought in the morning).
I could not resist ordering escargots (snails) for my appetizer. But, unfortunately, the menu did not provide any description for the dish and I was expecting the usual butter, parsley and garlic sauce I love so much. When the dish came, I was a bit disappointed: it was made with tomatoes and asparagus, probably giving a south of France flair. It was good, but definitely not as good as what I was expecting. I think that, if you serve a different recipe, you should specify it on the menu. So it started well...
Then came the steaks. Filet mignon ordered medium but served medium rare for Jodi:
Entrecôte or sirloin ordered medium rare and served medium for me.
I mentioned it to the waiter who acknowledged a mistake in the kitchen and proposed to re-fire it, but it was late and we did not have time for it. So we switched. The steaks were pretty good, juicy and tender, not steakhouse grade for sure for that price, but worth it. I even found them better than the steaks served for restaurant week in some steakhouses!
The steaks are not coming with sides, so we both ordered one for $6 each. Jodi went for the fries, while I went for the potato galette. Both were good, but for sure, you need to order one per person. I should also mention my glass of Bordeaux Chateau de Bel Ami 2012:
Last was dessert. We went for the tarte tatin, a classic French dessert that I thought was pretty good, the apples being perfectly cooked and overall not too sweet.
Even if there were issues with our meal, I liked Chez Jacqueline. Their $15 steak dinner is for sure one of the best deals in the city. Would I go back? Definitely, hoping that this time, they will not reverse the temperature of the meat...
Enjoy (I did)!
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