Bauer Says Café Des Amis Is ‘Less Ambitious But More Delicious’; Matthews Returns to Georges

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Cafe Des Amis Photo: Georg Lester/Grub Street

Nearly two and a half years after opening, and after a couple of unspectacular reviews (his first review was a sorry one and a half stars, and then last January he said it had "improved" to the two-star level, but that some dishes were still "all wrong"), Michael Bauer returns to Caf Des Amis once again. It's been over a year since executive chef and Bacchus Restaurant Group partner Mark Sullivan took full control of the kitchen, and Mr. Bauer says he's succeeded in making the menu "less ambitious but more delicious." It's now a reliable place for "for solid rendition[s] of the classics along with informed service," and he's especially fond of the pâté de campagne, leek and potato soup covered with a salty pastry dome, and their "fine" roast chicken and steak frites. The chocolate mousse remains "one of the worst versions I've had." The tally: two and a half stars. [Chron]

Bauer's colleague Allen Matthews pays a return visit to seafood-focused FiDi lunch spot Georges (415 Sansome), where they only recently started serving dinner on Saturdays. He finds that they make a stellar example of fish and chips, which is relegated only to the lunch menu, and there are also some good starters like an albacore crudo with hearts of palm and fish sauce, and the crab cakes. The service leaves a lot to be desired, however, and, most amusingly, he can't help but notice the action at the adjacent nail salon, off the same building lobby, every time he enters the restaurant. "Maybe it's bum luck, but I've caught a view of serious foot work every time. Just keep thinking, 'Look to the left, look to the left,' and you'll pass the callus minefield with nary a scar." All told: two stars. [Chron]