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Argentelle Cafe Review

2

Category : American, French, Sandwiches

Argentelle Cafe in Riverfront on Las OlasThe Argentelle Cafe may very well be the reason for a renaissance at Riverfront on Las Olas Blvd.  This former downtown Fort Lauderdale hot spot is going through a transition.  Out are the old familiars (Dan Marino’s, Hooters and Ugly Tuna Saloona) and slowly but surely new blood is opening its doors.

Argentelle Cafe
Website: Yes
Phone: (954) 522.4002
City: Fort Lauderdale
Location (map): Riverfront
Delivery: No (they do cater)
Outdoor seating: Yes
Lunch $: $7-8 approx.
Dinner $: NA

The Argetelle Cafe is run by Chef Remy, who’s mild French accent welcomes patrons each day.  Remy is a culinary chef with roots in New York and France.

Workers in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area now have access to semi-gourmet cuisine focusing on French/American dining.  The Argentelle Cafe also provides catering services to local businesses.

Todd’s Review of the Chicken Marsala:

Argentelle Cafe - Chicken Breast Saute with Sauce & Mushroom & Mashed PotatosEach day the Argentelle Cafe offers a unique daily special.  I am privy to what the specials are each day because I am on their e-mail distribution list (bottom right of page).  Today’s special was Poitrine de Poulet Saute Marsala, a.k.a. Chicken Breast Saute with Sauce & Mushroom & Mashed Potato.  I recommend you call your order in prior to arriving to save yourself 15 minutes.

I will give credit where it is due.  As far as taste is concerned, Remy knows what he is doing.  His Marsala sauce is excellent and it actually had me licking the container after my meal was done so I could enjoy every last drop.  The chicken was delicate and tender and his mashed potatoes are well seasoned.  Of the various specials that come and go, this has to be one of my favorites.

The daily specials usually come to $7 even (after tax), which makes this a killer deal for the lunch crowd.  So Remy scores high in value and flavor.

The portions could be just a little larger in my opinion though.  While the quality of the food is exceptional, the portions are ‘just enough’.  So, the good news is you won’t get fat while enjoying Remy’s entrees.

Todd’s Score: 86/100
Pros: Botton line – the food tastes great and is well seasoned, semi gourmet lunch fare, nice side options ((very good)french fries, salad w/ balsamic dressing, veggie).
Cons: Portions are average in size. Little bit of a wait if you come during peak lunch hour.  Not all daily specials are as exciting.

Todd’s review of the Roasted Pork:

Argentelle Cafe - Roasted Pork with Mashed PotatoOn this 55 degree day in Fort Lauderdale, a warm special from Chef Remy sounded good.  Today’s email blast announced the special was Roasted Pork with mashed potato.  From prior experience I knew that this would probably be a winner.

The portions were slightly larger than the last special I got, which is a good thing.  This meal satisfies on its own and you’ll walk away feeling like you just had a Sunday dinner from mom.  Everything was great and as always, the meat and potatos were seasoned perfectly making for a hearty, and of course…. ‘tasty’ lunch.  At $7, you can’t go wrong.

Todd’s Score: 86/100
Pros: Portions and gravy were heftier in size for this special which was great.  Well seasoned and delicious!
Cons: None

Todd’s review of the Meatloaf:

Argentelle Cafe - Meatloaf and mashed potatoes specialNot all meals I review put a grin on my face by simply looking at it.  The meatloaf and mashed potatoes have an indulgent grace that lets you know it will be a treat, without even tasting it.

The portions are very good and the food is exactly how I like it… lots of gravy and with superb taste!  No salt or pepper needed, this meal is perfect right out of the box!  The first question I asked myself when taking my first bite was “I wonder if this is some pre-made gravy”.  After downing a large helping of potatoes and gravy,  you instantly appreciate the harmony that this meal offers.  The sauce is rich and perfectly complimenting to the meat and potatoes.  The meatloaf was hearty and makes for a satisfying meal.

Chef Remy says it’s a new special and I am happy to welcome it!  Very satisfying for a hungry downtowner!

Todd’s Score: 88/100
Pros: Great meatloaf that leaves you satisfied.  Generous portions.  Great option compared to typical downtown food. Good value for a $7 special.
Cons: None

Todd’s review of the Chicken Cordon Bleu:

Argentelle Cafe - Chicken Cordon BleuSomething new to try!  I was excited when I saw the daily special email arrive in my inbox.

This dish in French is called “Poitrine de Poulet Cordon Bleu” which is stuffed chicken breast with ham and swiss cheese.  Things sound so much more gourmet when in French. :)  The Cordon Bleu is sliced into medallions and laid over brown rice and then drizzled over by a rich sauce to tie it all together.

When I got back to the office the first thing I noticed when I opened the container was the delightful aroma that came with the meal.  It was certainly inviting and left a good impression that had me positive to consume this meal.  Appearance was also nice and I was happy to see the chicken breast had been cut already.

The first bites are wonderful.  The brown rice, sauce and chicken all tie together very well.  The taste is distinct and different, especially when compared to typical lunch fare in the downtown area.  There were some flaws however…

After a dozen or so bites, the sauce seemed to take on a ‘little too salty’ characteristic and began to feel as if it was actually to rich.  Perhaps akin to a nice bowl of Alfredo sauce, where the first bites are divine, but after a whole bowl it makes for a meal that is too rich.  What’s funny is I really enjoyed the first half of the meal, but it did get too rich toward the end.  The sauce needs a little toning down to make for a complete meal.

I’d be willing to try it again, but I would want to see the sauce smooth out and be a little more subtle.  With that change in place this would be a go-to winner, and I would likely score it in the high 80’s, but for now…

Todd’s Score: 70/100
Pros: Nice break from the usual, the brown rice is a nice touch, presentation is great, good proportions, good deal for $7
Cons: Sauce overpowered the meal half way through eating it (too salty/too rich) 

Todd’s review of the Stir Fried Chicken:

Argentelle Cafe - Stir Fried ChickenLately Chef Remy seems to be experimenting by releasing new specials.  Today he sent out an email blast advertising a new one called “Stir Fried Chicken” with chicken – zucchini – carrots and rice for $7.

What I pictured in my head for the meal was a little different than what I got when I got back to the office.  The portions are decent and the sauce has a nice consistency and color.

The first few bites were good and I was getting excited that there wasthing a bit different to try, and fro the look of things it seemed to be relativly healthy.  The chicken is white meat and looks to have been marinated.  The veggies were a little scarce as they were more small strips of carrots than large pieces.  The zucchini was present in the form of a few larger strips.  The rice seems to be a whole grain variety adding a bit of extra flavor as well.

The problem with the dish is that it got salty about half way through.  It was a bit over seasoned and slowly grows as you consume the dish.  While there was quite a bit of chicken in the dish, I would have liked to have seen a  little more of the veggies that were advertised.  There was also a little oil left in the bottom of the3 container when I finished my lunch, making me wonder how healthy it actually was.

This dish has some promise, but it needs a little adjusting for a better score.

Todd’s score:  75/100
Pros: lots of chicken in dish, whole grain rice
Cons:too salty, sort of gets a little blah after awhile

Argentelle Cafe - Chef Remy Argentelle Cafe - inside the restaurant Argentelle Cafe - Todd with the carry out Argentelle Cafe - Chicken Breast Saute with Sauce & Mushroom

Comments (2)

[…] rice looked to good to pass up however. While I enjoyed the chicken marsalla, I think I like Chef Remy’s version a little more.  Good flavor, but a tad drier than I prefer.  I suppose you could ask them to add a […]

[…] entire thing. The accompanying french fries were also quite good (though not as good as those at Argentelle Cafe).  All in all it was a delicious lunch and I can’t really think of anything negative other […]

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